Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving. I may even love it more than Christmas (although it's extremely close). It's usually time spent with family without the stress of wondering if they're going to like the gifts you get them.
This Thanksgiving I'm stuck in Washington while most of my family is in Tennessee. While I miss them, I'm also excited about what today holds for me. I get to celebrate this holiday with a couple of friends that feel like family. None of us have done a large part in helping make the Thanksgiving meal before so this should be very interesting. Hopefully, nothing will get burnt :)
Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Top Three Tuesday

It's just a dancin' kind of week...

1. Dorky Christian dancing. You wonder what the world has against Christians sometimes, and then you watch something like this. If you watch nothing else, fast forward to the guy's solo dance in the middle.

2. Evolution of Wedding Dance. If they'll let me do something like this at my wedding, I think my life will be complete :)

3. Nickelsville. It's a community of Seattle homeless people currently encamped a couple blocks from my house that I have great respect for. If you're not from Seattle, it helps to know that the mayor of Seattle is Greg Nickels (think Hoovervilles from the Great Depression). Oh, and to keep with the dancing theme, we had a little 'foot fun' at the Nickelsville Benefit Concert last weekend.


Monday, November 17, 2008

And Life Still Goes On

My word of the week is 'powerless'. You want that used in a sentence? How 'bout "I feel powerless to fix the problems I see in the world."
I've been silent in the blog world lately because I've been processing some complex emotions. Usually, my method of processing is ranting on here about what I think. The thing is that ranting on here does little good for me or, on my best day, the twenty people that read this.

Here's what's been making me feel powerless this week without my usual commentary:
1. Seeing street preachers with signs in the middle of downtown Seattle yelling at people that they're going to hell.
2. Realizing that college ministry may not be a top priority for the people that make the big decisions.
3. Reading this article about a recent vote by the Georgia Baptist Convention.
4. Fully understanding a profound statement one of my students made. "The world system should hate us, but the people should love us. Currently, we fit in with the systems, but the people hate us."
5. Seeing the people and country I love deal with death, economic downturn, sickness, and sin.

John Mayer and I have been on the same page for a while. We've both been waiting on the world to change. I'm tired of waiting though. I want to roll up my sleeves and make something happen. But what can I really do?

What can we do?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Top Three Thursday

These are the top three questions that are occupying my mind these days and some of the conclusions that I've come to.

1. How many more times can I read the words 'God is in control' in relation to Obama's victory from Christian articles on faith and politics without losing it completely? I have nothing against reminding people that God is really in control of everything (becuase He is), but it's like the Christian world is just now realizing it. Or they're scared out of their minds because they think an Obama administration is the signal that the end of days is here and they need something to cling to. I never once read an article where it said "George W. Bush is president, but that's okay because God is in control." If McCain had been elected, would we be reading the same kinds of articles? If the answer is no, what does that say about how deeply Christians have gotten into bed with Republican politics?

2. What does it mean to truly be pro-life? I think that a lot of Christians, and people in general, are pro-birth but not really pro-life. It's starting to really bother me. Being pro-life is not just about saving the life of an unborn child. It's about saving the life of everyone. It's about lowering the number of deaths per 1,000 for children under 5 by making sure they have adequate nutrition. It's about lifting people out of poverty and providing training to those that need it so they can do more than just get by until they die. It's about extending grace and second chances at life, even to those that do heinous acts because Jesus would not give up on them and they are not beyond redemption. Being pro-life is fighting against so-called 'death with dignity acts' that really say that we no longer value the lives of the sick and elderly. Ultimately, it's about adopting a 'womb to tomb' philosophy of life.

3. Does Jesus really have a PR problem and do we really need to do anything about it? That may not be the best way to ask this question and get at the answers I want, but that's the stage it's in right now.

Thank you for paying attention to today's soapbox version of Top Three Thursday. Feel free to comment away.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

My top three list will be on Thursday this week. That's because I've got the same thing on my mind as, well, every other person with access to media in the world...United States elections. For those of you that read my blog on a regular basis, you already know how I feel about politics. Even tonight, I'm going to be baking cookies for a friend's birthday instead of watching the results come in. I'm content to get the results in the morning. Still, I know that a US administration change is a big deal for the entire world and feel some degree of apprehension (if that's the right word) about what's going to happen when our decisions are final. That's why I appreciate this reminder from a blog my mom sent me today.

"Don't put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there. When their breathing stops, they return to the earth, and in a moment all their plans come to an end. But happy are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God. He is the one who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He is the one who keeps every promise forever, who gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The Lord frees the prisoners...He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked." (Psalm 146)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Week in My Life

It seems that my internet presence has been noticeably lacking this week since a couple of you checked with me to make sure I was still alive :) I was actually sick for most of the week, and while I was semi-operational, I didn't feel like sharing much of anything with the world. Now that I'm better, I'm ready to share the fun parts of the last week with you.

Sunday was a gorgeous day in Seattle so I went to the Washington Park Arboretum to look at the colorful leaves and get some exercise.

I apparently was not the only person to get that idea. I think that about half of Seattle was there with their kids/dogs. The arboretum is big enough, though, that I was able to get some beautiful shots away from the crowd too. I just had to do a little off-roading to get there.

One of my favorite spots at the arboretum is the pond. The ducks are so fun to watch.

On Thursday night after family supper, we had a pumpkin carving contest at the house. Since I have the pumpkin carving skills of a two year old, I teamed up with Natalia. She carved and I provided artistic direction :)

These are some of the jack-o-lanterns that we came up with. The one that looks like it's throwing up won the contest. Natalia's/Mine is the geeky pumpkin with glasses on. (It even has a pocket protector, but you can't see it in this picture).

While others were carving away, one of my students and I sorted through pumpkin guts to get the seeds out. Later that night we roasted them. They were amazing.

Other fun (but not photgraphed) events of the week: 1. I got my pearly whites cleaned on Tuesday. I know that I've said this before, but I really do think that small hands should be a job requirement for dentists.
2. We did our annual Trick and Treat social experiment on campus yesterday. This year we threw in a twist. "You have to give your second candy bar to a person supporting a different candidate for President from the one you're supporting." Students loved the idea and played along well. We met about five people voting for McCain, a couple of Ron Paul hold-ons, and more than a few Obama supporters.
3. Tonight I made chicken jambalaya for a few of the people at the house. It turned out great and we had some fun talking about our crazy Halloween experiences.