Sunday, March 28, 2010

I got Unplugged

This last Thursday I got to go up to Lake Arrowhead in the mountains. It was great because I was not going to take my laptop, nor was I going to watch TV. I even left my IPod back home. It is rare for me to be so disconnected from technology. Right now I am typing on my desktop while Jac Pepin is cooking on the TV. While I love the great things technology has to offer I know I need time to just read and think.

So while I was reading I realized how far my education has gone. I was reading a book about early Christian texts and I could place them and understand their context. I could see how much I have changed since coming to seminary. I do not think education replaces a passion for God, but my education has lead me to have a deeper faith in God. I know that God most have been involved in the Bible otherwise we would have ended up with some terrible stuff. I think education allows people to connect on a deeper level with God. They can see the obvious beauty of God, but also the beauty that is found in the intricacies of life.

I also read a book on hate. I realized there are people I should hate. I should wish them the worst possible things. But I do not hate them. Some of them have really messed me up, but I still think they are children of God and carrying God’s image. That makes them special. Hate is easy, but I cannot hate that well. So now I have to get on to the much harder working towards reconciliation. It would be nice to write people off but I do not have the luxury. God creates more work for me, but in the end I like it.

I start my last quarter of school. I am scared and thrilled with the prospect of the future.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The End of Ecclesiastes

I finished reading Ecclesiastes today. I like where the book comes from. It does not try to paint a world that is prefect and nice. Instead it seems to be for a world that is broken and messed up. There are good things in life and there are bad things.

Most recently I have had to come to turns with some of the bad things in life. I found out last week my first youth pastor did something terrible. I could believe want I and it has been bothering me for a while. I see how fragile it is to be in a place of trust for youth and have the trust violated. I stand firm in my belief that youth need to be protected. But really sometimes working with youth seems so very dangerous. There seems to always be a hint of suspicion.

When I think about my own situation I wonder what I should do. There seems to be this underlying assumption I should get married, or that I am weird for not being married. But with marriage pretty much being a fifty-fifty shot in the dark marriage does not seem to be something I want or need. I admit if I find a woman who has that right combination of being gorgeous and being someone I want to talk to all night then sure I would get married. But I have not met that person and I doubt she exists.

So back to Ecclesiastes, it has the wonder message that no matter how much skill I have at something it will not necessarily save me from bad things. Instead I should focus on life being something to enjoy. I cannot make it perfect but I can enjoy the small gifts God gives me. I hang out with some friends last night and it was wonder. It was a great reminder God has placed some amazing people in my life and I cannot get hung up on the bad things that happen. I am on spring break this week and my goal is to read a Dallas Willard book and putter around.

End Communication.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A live dog is better than a dead lion.

That sounds a lot more negative than I mean it at the moment, but this has been a stressful week for me. I participated in my first memorial service which left me shell shocked for a few days. I am not used to death and I do not like the idea of being ok with it. I had to give my final speech/group presentation on Tuesday and today I learned we did poorly. My internship is winding down and I found that the next interview for my interview was never scheduled, and I am scrambling to get the rest of my paper work in on time. I had the most uncomfortable conversation with the person who has hurt me the most in seminary. Trying to do what Jesus would want me to do with her is hard. I started to write my final for Theology and Culture. I have seen God really working in my life, showing me how loved I am by some close friends. It has been a week that has been harder than normal but I think I am handling it best as I can. I have not done anything I am ashamed of.

So I turned to Ecclesiastes 9, it has the wonderful subtitle “Take life as it comes.” I can honestly say it is a great chapter. Good things and bad things are going to happen to me. That is not an excuse to do things I will regret later no matter how satisfying they may be at the moment. Also I know I need to take the good and just live in it. I have no clue what I am going to do with my life. I have no ambition. I just know this; I am going to love God with everything I am, I am going to minister to other people no matter what I do, I am going to do my best to never treat people the way I have been treated.

I have no clue what shape that will mean for the future but I am diving in with no abandon. It is better to be alive with low status than to be a great figure without life. I know that as long as I do nothing to tarnish my honor and my name I can be doing something for God. I hope things get better in the next couple of weeks but right now I have a lot of stress


Friday, March 5, 2010

So I have been thinking about love.

So I have been thinking about love. And no I am not thinking about romantic love; anyone who knows me knows what a dead-end for me that is.

But love seems to be one of those words that is supposed to have meaning and be important, yet really we do not seem to know how to live it out. I say that because people (including me) seem to be terribly rude to each other, ready to ignore the needs other people, and generally do not want to look to the welfare of other people.

So what is love? Because of theology and who I am I point to 1 Corinthians 13 as one of the best definitions of love. So Paul states love is: patient, kind, happy when truth wins out, always hopes, endures through all circumstances. Love is not: jealous, boastful, proud, rude, demand its own way, irritable, does not remember wrongs, not happy about injustice, a quitter, faithless. That second list is longer than the first. It is easier to mess up then to do something right I figure.

What gets me is that I do not think see people living out this love with other people, especially in the church. Now I am not holding up the angry, polemical Christians, but I think the regular Christians could live with more love in their lives. Because what would happen if a Christian lived chapter 13?

For me I think it would change my ministry. My ministry would have to be colored by those attributes. I think I would have to learn how every interaction I have should be rooted in love. It would be my moral and theological duty to compliment people. What better way to sure love then recognize the good in people and let them know others see it.

Every interaction I have with a person becomes the chance and opportunity to love someone. It seems like something I am going to have to think about for a while. Right now I am thinking that Christ is the only source for this love. That the more Christ is in my life, the more he is the center, the more ability I have to live out this love.