Thursday, August 26, 2010

A few things that have been on my mind

I read a great book called "I Once was Lost". It describes ministry in the post-modern era. According to the book, there are 5 Thresholds during ministry:

1. Distrust to Trust
2. Complacent to Curious
3. Closed to Change to Open to Change
4. Meandering to Seeking
5. Cross the threshold of the kingdom itself

The book also pointed out a few other important things while witnessing:

• Ask questions
• Use an NPR story instead of Passion of the Christ
• ATTIC (Affirm, Translate, Transparent, Insert yourself as a case study, Challenge)

I loved this book!

Next I am working on getting in better shape. I found this weight loss calculator online and discovered that with my body type, I will lose 1.5pounds a week if I stick to my workout and 1300 calories a day. So that will take 3 months, but at least I have a frame of reference so I won't get frustrated. I am eating 6 small things a day and my typical schedule looks like this:

12pm-slimfast=200 cal
2pm-beef jerky=100 cal
4pm-crackers=150 cal
6pm-dinner=550 cal
8pm-Popsicle=100 cal
10pm-slimfast=200 cal

I know the times look late, but this is my schedule. We work late, but at least we are on PST :)

Finally, I made my bucket list. Here it is:

1. Read Time’s 100 Best Novels
2. Watch IMDBs top 250 Movies
3. Try a new food once a month
4. Be the best minister of the gospel I can be
5. Visit all 50 States
6. Visit all 7 continents
7. See all my favorite bands in concert
8. Visit the following places
a. Egypt
b. Israel
c. Laos
d. Thailand
e. Cambodia
f. India
g. Russia
h. China
i. Japan
j. Korea
k. Tanzania
l. Kenya (climb Mt. Kilimanjaro)
m. Morocco
n. Spain
o. Brazil
p. Argentina
q. Venezuela
r. Australia
s. Ester Islands
t. South Pacific
u. Indonesia
9. Do a Triathlon
10. Publish a book
11. Sell/Promote my art
12. Record a CD
13. Be fluent in Sign Language, Spanish and on other language (I think Arabic)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Call to Reform

I hate stating political opinions and strive not to in my facebook statuses. So when I thanked Jesus for the ruling in AZ, I feel like I need to elaborate a little further as to my beliefs. There are two moral dilemmas in politics right now that I believe need further analysis and explanation.

First, the Arizona situation. The governor of Arizona has attempted to pass two major laws since entering office. The first being immigration reform and the second banning ethnic studies. Both of these laws seem to attack the ethnic minority, specifically Hispanics. The main issues I have with this are that people are being racially profiled. As is, my husband gets pulled over all the time for “Driving while Brown”. With this new law, he would get pulled over and be required to show 3 forms of ID. If I were pulled over, I would not. This is racial profiling, which is supposed to be illegal in this country. This brings me to an amazing quote:

"It is absolutely reminiscent of second class status of Jews in Germany prior to World War II when they had to have their papers with them at all times and were subject to routine inspections at the suspicion of being Jewish," Rep. Jared Polis

This law treats Hispanics as second class citizens. And like the Jews before WWII, they are being blamed for unemployment. I’m not trying to sound crazy and claim that were going to have a holocaust here. Nor am I suggesting that this is anything like what they went through. I am just pointing out warning signs of history repeating itself, starting off by treating some as second class citizens.

Immigration needs reform, but racism is not the answer. Consider this:

1 John 3: 15-18
If you hate each other, you are murderers, and we know that murderers do not have eternal life. We know what love is because Jesus gave his life for us. That's why we must give our lives for each other. If we have all we need and see one of our own people in need, we must have pity on that person, or else we cannot say we love God. Children, you show love for others by truly helping them, and not merely by talking about it.

That is so impactful, isn’t it? That last verse is so convicting to me, especially as I sit here and blog.

Next topic: Prop 8

I love democracy. Whenever it is disregarded, I get an uneasy feeling. So that part of today’s decision upset me. However, there is more to this multifaceted political/moral dilemma.

I believe that our God, being sovereign and good, allows us to choose to follow Him. We can either follow him or choose sin. So, I think our government should not force those who do not choose to follow the bible to. We are not God, only he can judge. If people choose to participate in same-sex marriage, God is not stopping them and neither should we. He allows them to choose a life following world, or following him. We should just be witnessing and letting them know what they bible thinks of this, not forcing them to do what we believe is right.

With that said, marriage is a sacred vow between God, a man and woman. It seems to degrade marriage in the biblical Christian context.

So here enters my next theory: Separation of Church and State.

Marriage should be granted to all couples, but in legal terms only (not the vow before God). We will call these civil unions for all. By separating church and state, marriage (the non legal binding vow before God) can remain a religious act. That way, there is true separation of church and state, yet equality. Homosexuals are not the only ones who have attempted to change this sacred vow, people have been disregarding the sacredness of marriage for a long time; the divorce rate is over 50% and people marry multiple times. Why are we Christians ostracizing homosexuals alone on this issue? Many people are at fault for this and that is why we need what the constitution lays out for us: the Separation of Church and State.

The status Quo sucks. We need reform. What should we do?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

It has been a busy past few weeks, but it is all coming to an end. The kids graduate in less than two weeks and Jer and I head off to Europe in less than a month! Can't wait!

Humanity is an interesting thing… even more so Divinity. In juxtaposition, I am awestruck. Whenever I am so desperately failing, and seek Him, he intervenes. No matter how many times I fail at the same thing, He answers my call. I am so thankful for that and the growth that He allows in me. It seems simplistic, but it still amazes me.

Your grace, your love
I'm so undeserving,
My faults reflect your awesomeness
That you would still love me

Let me not sin, so grace will abound
But to strive to live for you, not me
Glorifying you
In word, thought and deed

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I'm Back!

It has been forever....I know. My dear friend Jon Skaar brought up blogging in a facebook note and I then realized how long it had been since I have been on here. I will try to be more diligent about blogging because I love it! It is a wonderful way to work things out, to self evaluate, to share what is happening spiritually, physically and otherwise in my life. So here we go...

I am ready for the end of the year. I love my job, but I do need a break from some aspects (along with school). I am so happy with where I am currently. Last year this time I was finishing up a challenging job and was away from Jer. I am married and loving everything that I do.

I have been doing an exercise program called Insanity and I love it. I have been trying to lose some of the weight I put on this winter and it seems to be helping slowly but surely. I am a part of an instant gratification generation, so I think I need to be a little more patient in the results. I have also been working very hard on eating right, so we will see if my efforts pay off. I sure hope they do soon :)

This is the part of the blog I need the most: the spiritual part of my life. Jer and I have been trying to read a chapter from the bible every night. Currently we are reading Romans and I forgot how much I love that book, especially chapter 6. Paul's words sound like a conversation I have with myself. "I know sin is wrong, but I do it...why do I do it if I love God and He is so much better than sin....sin is no good, why am I drawn?" Makes me feel better that Paul had the same conversation that I have with myself daily, but I do get frustrated. God has helped me come a long way, but it seems almost inevitable that I will say something that is not pleasing to Him. Whether a crass comment, sarcasm, a curse word or something about someone, my tongue is like that described in James 3. Here enters my instant gratification again I suppose. I know God is at work in me, but I am not patient. I also feel like I only focus on what needs to be fixed rather than all the ways that He has helped me grow. I need a more balanced approach to thank Him for His goodness and pray that I might honor Him more. Your prayers are greatly appreciated. Here is the other thing.....I feel a as though I am lagging in my spirituality. I am very busy, which I have been for the past 6 years of my life. However, in years past, I was surrounded by Christianity: at Vanguard it was Oregon I was very involved in church and weekly small group. Now with my current job I am lucky if I make it to church once a week. I know this is most likely the fountainhead of the issue, but I know God is bigger than my busy work and grad school schedule. Lord meet me where I am, so desperately needing more of you in my life. Help me to honoring you in word, thought and deed and let our ministry be for you Lord....that those who see Your light through us will want more of you. Let us be on fire for you. Amen.

Always feel so much better after that. There are a few other stress factors in my life, but I know my God is in control of that and will guide me. my goal is to blog once a week....I can do that :)