Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wandering Wednesday

I meant to write this last night but ended up being too tired/lazy. Anyway...

Last night I went to my community group from church. Like any good Acts 29 church plant, we were discussing original sin and the fall of man. We came to a question about Genesis 3:16b, "Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." I shared my two cents about the verse and got the usual blank stares I get when I actually speak my mind. Is it possible that this verse is cursing both the woman and the man? Is it foreshadowing the over-reaching of power on both sides of the table? Or am I just a feminist heretic?

Are thoughts sins or is the thought put into action the sin? If an erroneous thought pops into my head and I immediately dismiss it, have I still sinned? I'm not too worried about this one, but it was a huge topic of debate last night.

"If salvation is to affect our lives, it can do so only by affecting our bodies. If we are to participate in the reign of God, it can only be by our actions. And our actions are physical - we live only in the processes of our bodies. To withhold our bodies from religion is to exclude religion from our lives. Our life is a bodily life, even though that life is one that can be fulfilled solely in union with God.
Spirituality in human beings is not an extra or 'superior' mode of existence. It's not a hidden stream of separate reality, a separate life running parallel to our bodily existence. It does not consist of special 'inward' acts even though it has an inner aspect. It is, rather, a relationship of our embodied selves to God that has the natural and irrepressible effect of making us alive to the Kingdom of God - here and now in the material world"
- Dallas Willard, "The Spirit of the Disciplines"

Thanks for sticking through to the end :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Top Three Tuesday

1. The Adventures of Pete & Pete. Yes, the Nickelodeon show from the early '90s. I got the first season from the Seattle Public Library this week. Watching it makes me realize that I'm getting older but also that my generation had the best TV shows ever!

2. Bones. I usually don't get into crime shows, but this one is good. There's a lot of humor mixed in with the drama. I just can't seem to get enough of it lately.

3. Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables. I made this delicious concoction tonight for supper. I've been on a big cookbook kick lately and came across this recipe in one of Giada De Laurentiis' books. It takes a little time and effort to make, but it's totally worth it.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wandering Wednesday

...or Wondering Wednesday. Either way, it works. Here's what's on my mind:

"Faith, as we've seen, is the cornerstone that keeps our organizations together. Faith is the cornerstone of humanity; we can't live without it. But religion is very different from faith. Religion is just a set of invented protocols, rules to live by (for now). Heretics challenge a given religion, but do it from a very strong foundation of faith."

"My take: I despair for most of the top fifty nonprofits in the United States. These are the big guys, and they're stuck. Far more than the Fortune 100, not known for being cutting edge in themselves, the top charities rarely change. If you're big, you're used to being big and you expect to stay big. That means that generation after generation of staff has been hired to keep doing what's working. Big risks and crazy schemes are certainly frowned upon."

"People don't believe what you tell them.
They rarely believe what you show them.
They often believe what their friends tell them.
They always believe what they tell themselves.
What leaders do: they give people stories they can tell themselves. Stories about the future and about change."

All quotes are from "Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us" by Seth Godin. It's a random read, but one that I recommend for anyone that wants to lead in the modern world.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Acts 16

First things first. My dad celebrated the first half-century of his life this week, so I would be amiss if I didn't say: HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!! You're the best-est ever :)

As you probably know, I've been stressing a lot lately about whether to stay in Seattle another year or go back to school. On Sunday night, I listened to part of a sermon series on Acts. I used to think that the book of Acts was a book of church history with a little Pentecost action at the beginning and Paul ticking the known world off for the rest of it. It has never been one those go-to books for when I'm trying to make tough life decisions or needing comfort. I think that God gave me my answer using Acts 16 though.

So, in Acts 16:6-10, Paul is on one of his missionary journeys (I can never keep them apart). Thinking that he is doing what he is supposed to, he tries to go into Mysia. When he gets to the border, the Holy Spirit keeps him from going in. That night, he has a vision of someone begging him to come to Macedonia and takes that as direction from God.

Paul going into Mysia would have been a great move. It was an area with direct access to the major trading routes of the day. Trade routes were the Internet of the ancient world. They not only moved material products but also information and ideas. If I were Paul, I would ask God what He was doing keeping me from making my genius move. The thing is, because Paul ultimately went to Macedonia, he was able to present the gospel to what would eventually become Europe. Years later, Europe sent out the pioneering missionaries that spread the Word to countries like India and China. Pretty cool.

What does this have to do with me? It has to do with open doors and closed doors. I feel like I've been standing at a dead-bolted door trying desperately trying to get in because it's what I think is best. All the while, right next to the locked door is a door that is wide open. I'm not going to say which door is which right now. The main point is that I recognize what's been going on and what I need to do about it. *sigh of relief*

Oh, and if you want to hear the sermon where I got most of this from, just click here.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

25 Random Facts

I worked hard enough on this for a facebook thing that I thought I might as well make a blog post out of it :)

1. I love drinking coffee, but only decaf.
2. I heart the little Reese's eggs that come out around Easter.
3. I'm not very fond of my middle name.
4. I actually enjoy watching football even though I don't know what's going on.
5. I bake cookies when I'm stressed.
6. I come up with answers to complex problems in my sleep so I take a lot of short naps.
7. I have a goal of visiting every continent at least once, including Antarctica.
8. I'm an introvert that gets my energy from being around people.
9. I skim over names when I read so I can never tell you a character's name from a book.
10. I've had the same best friend for 20 years.
11. The only food I'm allergic to is Papa John's Pizza.
12. I'm borderline OCD about punctuation and the time I get up in the morning.
13. I only notice that my walls are two tones of yellow and my carpet is orange when people point it out to me.
14. I'm a loyal St. Louis Cardinals fan but can't carry a conversation about them.
15. I can't sleep with socks on.
16. I only play board games when I'm forced to.
17. I don't like kids older than 3 until they're in high school.
18. I'm addicted to the little donuts that they sell at the farmers' market.
19. I can only pronounce 'oil' correctly when I'm thinking really hard about it.
20. I have a love/hate relationship with my hamster Gideon.
21. Cooking stores are my happy place.
22. I know pi to the 8th decimal place.
23. I love to people watch.
24. I always read the last paragraph first.
25. (I'm still working on this one. I apparently don't lead a very random life.)

Edit: It has been pointed out by my aforementioned friend of 20 years that I take a sudden, deep breath in when I wake up. Sorry about scaring you all those years Rach :) There's your #25.