Sunday, March 16, 2008

50 Things that I Like

Things that I like:

1. the smell of roses
2. Salvador Dali
3. dangly earrings
4. Christmas carols (at Christmas)
5. Dentene "Intense" gum
6. my claddagh ring
7. Jon Foreman/everything he does
8. quilts (and making them)
9. pearls
10. coloring pages and crayons :)
11. freshly vacuumed carpet
12. going to sleep early
13. my wonderful vanilla dryer sheets
12. M. Night Shyamalan/every movie he has ever made
13. Value Village
14. black pens
15. Starbucks Double Chocolaty-Chip Frappucino
16. the smell of my shampoo
17. blood oranges
18. swimming in Sugar Lake
19. the feeling of just sinking into my couch at home after a long journey home
20. the colour purple
21. going to the auction
22. "Paper Planes" by M.I.A.
23. hugs
24. homemade chili
25. post-it notes
26. the feeling of not having to do anything urgently
27. writing/receiving letters
28. scratch-n'-sniff stickers
29. warm summer mornings when the sunrise greets you on your way to the dining hall at ABK...
30. Rob Bell's books and the NOOMA series
31. playing cards... like cribbage, uno, dutch blitz (!)
32. cadbury mini-eggs
33. the crunch of fresh snow under snowshoes
34. ballet flats
35. fireworks (of any variety... even cheapo People's Value ones!)
36. warm fuzzy sweaters
37. foot massages... and normal massages :)
38. flamingos
39. tea time with digestive cookies!
40. the view from Blueberry Mountain
41. canoeing
42. the feeling after all of my exams are done
43. Chance by Chanel perfume.... someday!!! sigh..
44. pretty notebooks
45. The Lord of the Rings (books and movies)
46. Dance Dance Revolution!!!
47. hearing birds again after a long winter
48. the Brave Little Toaster
49. dance parties of all varieties!
50. Camp Aush-Bik-Koong... period. haha

Saturday, March 15, 2008

While I Lay, I Dream We're Better

"Oh My God" - Jars of Clay... with my comments :)

Oh my God, look around this place
Your fingers reach around the bone
You set the break and set the tone
Flights of grace, and future falls
In present pain
All fools say, "Oh my God"

This verse speaks about God setting the "breaks" in our lives - the great Physician, healing the wounds and fractures in our imperfect lives. And yet - He knows there will be "future falls"... no matter the extremity of the healing we receive, we will always fall again. We are human; we fall. It's the way life is. But there is always the option of crying out "Oh, my God...."

Oh my God, Why are we so afraid?
We make it worse when we don't bleed
There is no cure for our disease
Turn a phrase, and rise again
Or fake your death and only tell your closest friend
Oh my God.

We can't live life trying to cover up the sources of pain in our lives. We need to let other people know we are real, that we bleed just like anyone else. Jesus didn't come for the sinless - He came for us, the worst of sinners, that his glory and magnificence and grace might be fully displayed in our redemption (1 Timothy 1:15-16). Our healed hurt and "set" fractures displayed are some of the most powerful signposts to guide other people into Jesus' arms. Pardoned sin is nothing to be ashamed of; God has forgotten it, use it so that others might learn.

Oh my God, can I complain?
You take away my firm belief and graft my soul upon your grief
Weddings, boats and alibis
All drift away, and a mother cries

If we are truly following God, if we are sincere in our belief... we will grieve for the things that God grieves. If we truly desire to "love our neighbour", then we will mourn when our neighbour mourns, we will cry for the plight of our friends, our families, our enemies. To commiserate, to sympathize, to leave your heart open to the hurts of those around you... this is the love that God has called us to.

Liars and fools; sons and failures
Thieves will always say
Lost and found; ailing wanderers
Healers always say
Whores and angels; men with problems
Leavers always say
Broken hearted; separated
Orphans always say
War creators; racial haters
Preachers always say
Distant fathers; fallen warriors
Givers always say
Pilgrim saints; lonely widows
Users always say
Fearful mothers; watchful doubters
Saviors always say

James chapter one says "but religion God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world". If our religion does not permit for loving and reaching out to the hurting, God does not accept it. Can I reach out to war creators, whores, liars, racial haters... can I love them?

Sometimes I cannot forgive
And these days, mercy cuts so deep
If the world was how it should be, maybe I could get some sleep
While I lay, I dream we're better,
Scales were gone and faces light
When we wake, we hate our brother
We still move to hurt each other

We are all so hypocritical - we all dream of a better world, for the scales to fall from the eyes of our brothers - like they did from the eyes of Saul, that he could finally see truth. But when it comes time for action, we allow our apathy to override our desire for change, we still hate, we still are harsh, we inflict pain with our words and cut with our tongues.

Sometimes I can close my eyes,
And all the fear that keeps me silent falls below my heavy breathing,
What makes me so badly bent?
We all have a chance to murder
We all feel the need for wonder
We still want to be reminded that the pain is worth the thunder

It helps no one to judge. We all have the potential within us for horrible things. I'd like to think that I would never intentionally harm another person, but we just don't know. Yes, we all sin, we all fall short - but we all wonder, we all have some goodness.

Sometimes when I lose my grip, I wonder what to make of heaven
All the times I thought to reach up
All the times I had to give
Babies underneath their beds
Hospitals that cannot treat all the wounds that money causes,
All the comforts of cathedrals
All the cries of thirsty children - this is our inheritance
All the rage of watching mothers - this is our greatest offense

There is so much hurt in this world, so much that we as humans can't possibly hope to cure. The power is not within us, we simply aren't strong enough. We are so materially fixated, we want our comfortable chapels and our opulent church pews - the church, the people, we are so deluded, so selfish... I know I ignore the cries of the hungry, our inheritance of a broken planet full of broken people. How can I look into the eyes of a mother holding her dying child and look away? How dare I flip the channel and forget?

Oh my God
Oh my God
Oh my God

We are a crying, broken, hurting people. Our beings are so intrinsically connected with one another, so tied in to each other's fate - this is why Jesus told us that if we are unwilling to forgive, to love... what makes us think God would forgive and love us? This last stanza, to me, is an appeal - God, help me to love. Help me to serve, to really strive to understand the people around me and allow Your love to channel through me. Help me, God, to love Your beloved children, Your creation.

May that always be my prayer, and may I truly live it. May I always be on the lookout for opportunities to love.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Blog Bites the Dust, Other News

WOWZA - I just killed my blog!!! Thank goodness, I was able to salvage most of it from the wreckage - teach me to try to get myself some fancy-shmancy new background. I am too low-tech for such tom-foolery, apparently.

Yeehaw for MDA coming up on Friday - you should come! Tiff & Nat's awesome DG is having a sweet drum circle in the L.A. Fireplace Lounge. We went out today and canvassed L.A., giving out free packets of hot chocolate with invitations to the event attached. It was pretty cool - we gave out 100 invitations, and we have room for 30 people to come, so hopefully we max it out. Some people were very weirded out by us though, kind of unfortunate. Man, I'd be like, THANKS!!! No way would I let the chance for free hot chocolate/drumming pass me by!!

Anyway, I'd best be going, there's work that needs a-doin'! But here is a little quote that I will leave with you loyal reader(s), a little reminder of the great sacrifice we depend on:

"Upon a life I did not live, upon a death I did not die; another’s life, another’s death, I stake my whole eternity." – Horatius Bonar

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Jumping on the Trampoline

Rob Bell, oh, Rob Bell.

I've always liked him as an author, and NOOMA narrator. He's engaging, his writing is so refreshing in both style and the innovative ideas he's trying to use to enlighten the dissatisfied Christian and non-Christian alike.

But, I was alerted today to a frightening tidbit about his doctrine. Now, I've scouted around the internet a bit to try and find some answers, and I think I've got to the bottom of it. Here is what I think (if you care!).

Rob compares what Christians call doctrines (the fundamental building blocks we use to define just what we believe and why) to springs on a trampoline. His point is that doctrines are not faith; they should not be a rigid, unyielding brick wall, but a collection of tools we use to jump higher in faith - the mat, I suppose, being God. Sounds reasonable. Now, the problem comes in when we regard Jesus's divinity and the nature of the trinity. Critics have criticized (ha, just doing their job I suppose!) Bell for taking this view. However, I think that Bell isn't suggesting that Jesus was not divine, that he was not both fully human and fully God - the perfect sacrifice. I think he's saying we need to question WHAT we believe, and why. We shouldn't just blindly follow the doctrines of our elders, not bothering to investigate for ourselves the claims of Christ and the Bible. I don't think Bell is suggesting that the trinity is just another spring, that can be taken out and discarded, still leaving a perfectly operational trampoline. If you start removing springs from a trampoline, what will happen? Without the springy-ness, your jumps become shorter and more unbalanced, and the whole structure will soon collapse under your weight as you bounce. That's because you've removed all the support (the doctrines, the church, the Bible) and all that is left is YOU. This is the scourge of the Christian faith. It is not all about US, what makes us feel good, what fits with our preexisting viewpoints and schedules. Faith is full reliance on Jesus, not on yourself.

If you remove all of the springs, it all falls apart.

I think what Rob is suggesting is that the individual springs are flexible - they can be examined, probed, investigated, and they SHOULD be. If you are sincere about your investigation, allowing the Spirit to lead you as you search for truth, you will find that the essential doctrines - the strongest springs, the ones firmly rooted in scriptural truth - these will endure, you will keep these springs attached to your trampoline, and they will help you bounce higher and higher as you abide in God's love and truth. In your search, the faulty springs that you had previously blindly accepted will be exposed in the light of the Bible. You can discard these - they were hindering your jump anyway (rusty, perhaps?).

I don't think God gets exasperated when we probe his word and seek for him to inspire discernment in us to discover what he truly desires to be the foundation of our faith. It proves that we are sincere, we aren't lazy about our faith.

Phew! So, that's all I have to say about that. I still like Rob Bell. :)

In other news - I just bought Jon Foreman's solo cds (the first two) today, the Fall & Winter EP. It is AMAZING. You need to listen to it. Seriously.