Monday, February 23, 2004

Ok, time for a more pleasant post. Many happy thoughts of the past week...
1. My biology text book uses the word "fishes". A bright spot in my morning when I discovered this simple fact.

2. I met a possum Sunday evening out side Speer Chapel when he cut a path about two feet from me. Either he believed in God or wasn't offended that I did, as I was praying aloud. So much for wild animals being shy.

3. In spite of my own stupidity at not purchasing a symphony ticket, I was given a last minute opportunity to go for free. As a result I was privileged to hear one of the most beautiful violin performances since going to an Itzak Perelman concert 8 years ago. Amazing. Lots of fun spending the evening with friends too. A truly happy thought, friends. :-) Looks like next weekend will be nice too if I can make it through the week.

4. I think I've finally found a church I wouldn't mind going to. A few more posibilities to look into if I have the energy to but its nice to have a place to look forward to. It's odd, I've come full circle since my freshman year. I started at this church and left it for more exciting places for awhile. Now it seems to fit more though, I guess I've changed a little these 3 years.

5. I returned from lab tonight to find my roommate had left half of an uber dark chocolate Marble Slab ice cream latte for me in the fridge. Have I mentioned how great my roommate is lately?

I'm sure there are other happy thoughts too but for now the idea of sleep far outweighs them all. Goodnight.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

I just got a letter from my mom telling me that a friend of ours had died on Saturday. He was a heart surgeon who came over to Congo about once a year with his wife to work with the Congolese. As sad as his death makes me I can only bring to mind memories that make me smile from the times he and his wife visited. Very sweet people.
Rather, it is another friendship that has me sad this evening. For some reason it is harder for me to say goodbye tonight to a friend who's only going across the world. I'm sorry, I'm a little more stressed than usual lately but I don't mean to keep putting up depressing posts. Maybe its time for me to cut back on the coffee. Hmm...

Sunday, February 15, 2004

I have been threatening my roommate that I would repay her someday for all the quotes she always puts up of me on her blog. Lately neither of us have been able to make the words come out of our mouths right and these were some of the results:
Lisl - "I'm the one on drugs, why are you acting crazy?"
Lisl - "I think everyone needs a little Brazillian for a pet."
This was the most interesting Valentine's weekend I think I've ever had. Terribly random. Maybe I'll write about it in my "free time" after I sleep.
I saw a row of trees yesterday afternoon. Two straight rows happily spaced. Small patches of snow lay melting in the grass, remnants of the morning’s fall. As I looked on the lane I felt drawn to walk down it. So perfectly formed, it waited, ready for a person to walk under its branches and think.
As I looked closer I noticed that most of its charm lay in its loneliness. I can’t explain how a patch of trees could be lonely, especially not one in the middle of a college campus, but it was. Some of the saddest, loneliest things are quite often the most striking. I wonder why.

*Its been about a week or two but I just thought I'd leave a note or two explaining the randomness of Feb. 14. I got one Valentine, very LU-ish as it had been printed off a calculator. :-) I love this place. Was woken early by my roommate to watch the snow. Spent the morning watching poor out of place Mainers and Coloradans trying to ski down the berm. I'm afraid I wasn't so nice as I took every opportunity to sneak attack friends with snowballs. Then in the evening I played cards and listened to old friends ruin their vocal cords trying to use a Karaoke machine. It was a terribly random, terribly fun day in Texas. *

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Another question, although I'm not exactly sure who I'm asking. Why is it I always forget about God's faithfulness in providing my needs? I was standing under the painting on our wall tonight and the thought popped into my mind. I looked at the familiar scene of a Congo sunset with palm trees and grassland fading into distant hills. I remembered God's blessings in the past and the way he has always watched over me. Being a biology major has given me an opportunity to see the miracle nature up close. How true when Jesus spoke of the splendor of the lily's of the field - my Lily is pretty splendid too ;-). God knows every creature and life on those hills, faint in my memories. He takes care of the whole universe. I'm not thinking that the life of one young college student isn't too much for him to care for. As odd as this may sound, I'm very glad God is the way that he is.
I've been meaning to post for some time now. Its coming up on valentine's day but even though this post is going to talk about love that's not where the idea comes from and it's not connected really at all.
The past few weeks I've been struggling trying to figure out how one goes about loving one's enemies. Matt 5:43-48 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." The book then goes on to discuss not doing actions in public but in private.
It’s not easy either.
How do I do this though is my question. "Enemy" is a little strong in the relationship I'm struggling with right now. But I must admit, I've fallen short of love in many friendships, aquaintances and brief encounters with people. Love isn't the sum of our actions or happy feelings toward someone. Love does not need, indeed it is the opposite of needing. Sounds odd I know. Love is entirely giving, giving to the one being loved. Giving of self and self is not merely outward. More than that, I’d say its mostly inward, of that part so deep and so overwhelming you that neither doctors nor psychologist have been able to separated it or nail it down.
Loving doesn’t mean doing unselfish, unpleasant good deeds for the other person. Loving isn’t a happy overflow of lovely words, as many as they are, those are empty. Loving doesn’t mean spending every moment of your life with someone, putting them first. It can include all these things, leak out in such ways. However, I could never touch you, never speak to you, never sit with you or give you so much as a napkin and still love you. Love is a choice.
So the other person isn’t perfect, don’t expect them to be. So the other person embarresses you sometimes, stand beside them when no one else will. Not out of selfish motive, hoping he or she will see this great deed of yours and “love” you for it in return. That's where my trouble lies. C.S. Lewis wrote that true love doesn't need the other person. I long to be loved though, and I guess we try in odd silly ways to "earn" what we cannot and do not have to.
Ok, so the sum of this bog post...I'm confused and muddling through.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

work expands to fill the time you have. or maybe i"m just not organized...

Thursday, February 05, 2004

I have been weighed. I have been measured. And I have definely been found lacking...
The Christian Doctrine's test was a definite "crapperism" to take a quote from Lisl's blog. Granted, we only had an hour and 30 minutes to explain the doctrines of Christology - his humanity, and deity, the necessity of both, attonement, resurrection and the ascention. In doing so though, I've come to realize how immature I am in my knowledge of scripture. Dr. Woodring used the example of a person trying to detect counterfit money. First you study in great detail what is real till you know every part of it. Then when something counterfit comes by you recognize it as not being true. The same applies to scripture. In the test we were given an excerpt to analize regarding the person of Christ. Many of us noticed that the author used akward language and put things oddly but I simply assumed the writer was perhaps merely got carried away with his metaphors and strong imagery. In my essay I laid out what I have learned regarding the humanity and deity of Christ and used scriptural defenses of what I said and pointed to the parts of the passage that matched up with orthodox doctrine.
Kelly and I turned in our tests only to discover that the passage had been taken from the book of Mormon. Argh! It was a good lesson, especially for a doctrine's class. I just wish it hadn't been on the test.
I have so much to learn, fortunately God is a patient teacher.
Work has been canceled for the rest of the week which is nice but also means less money coming in. I can use the time for homework and corporation stuff. With the trip being a month away, there's a lot to be done and God is doing so many cool things, its fun to see and to be a part of.