Monday, July 27, 2009
S Africa City Staff go on strike
What do you think the reaction would be if President Obama, and all of his promises (troops, economy, oil, space advancement, jobs, etc...) were made in any other country than the United States? I am almost certain there would be some sort of anarchy.
Maybe its our turn to get pissed off and burn down some bus stations. Maybe then the charades of our government would be... well less of a game. Or maybe I am just angry because I have it so much better than I can even fathom.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Since, then, You have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
This weeks (Col:5-11):
Put to death therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, Circumcised, Barbarian, Barbarian, Scythian, Slave or Free, but Christ is all and is in all.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The common thought that has been troubling and muffling my brain has been specifically geared towards the idea of the United States ability to shrug off the reality of our socio-economic failures but at the exact same time assemble large focus groups and fundraising campaigns exploiting facts relating to the World's community outside of North America.
Here is an example of my frustration;
In the United States 39% of all children under the age of 18 will be homeless. That is saying that nearly half of the populations children at least for one night in their adolescence will not have a place to live. In India, however, the percent of homeless children is 18%.
Both of these numbers are outrageous and devastating. Both of these numbers are unsettling and depressing.
Now, ask yourself, which one of these facts you feel that you are more aware of?
This is where this war of thought usually floods my brain. In America, at anytime I can Redbox or TiVo a documentary on the devastation of displacement and homelessness and abuse of children from other countries. Access to view the struggles and pain of the world has become almost instantaneous, there are multiple commercials with crying Hollywood stars begging for money to end poverty and secure betterment of life abroad.
I guess my question is, "where are the commercials and documentaries to raise support for the struggling brothers and sister of my own nationality?" Is getting to America the end of the dream? Once you have made it to America you are on your own, the responsibility of those pocket books and humanitarians no longer pertains to you?
The world is our doorstep. We, the developed, wealthy West, have a responsibility to take care of all people. We have a responsibility to organize prosperity and relief using all means possible. My hope is that while we are watching our documentaries about distant lands we never lose sight of what is going on in our own country only blocks away.
We live in the greatest country in the world. Before we can get the rest of the world to believe that we must first convince all of our citizens to believe that... if they have a house or not.
Are we intentionally ignorant or are we just plain arrogant?
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
For the first time in six years I am the one saying I am graduating... Ugh.
My brain wants to give up and I still have six finals and three papers to complete... Ugh.
I have my last shift ever at The Pathfinder this afternoon... Ugh.
I just said Ugh four times... Ugh.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
I am currently writing my senior report. The topic is the worlds water crisis, in particular developing countries.
My major is based around what I am passionate about, which is cool because that is not very common (I guess after six years you deserve to get it right, haha).
The only problem here is just that... my passion isn't here.
My heart is in a land thousands of miles away.
Its funny. The small nuances, such as rain storms, or walking, or humidity, or confusion, the norms of daily life all remind me of that continent.
Everything makes me homesick in a very awkward way.
I wish I could explain the complexity of it.
I miss the relaxed busyness. I miss the taste of the air. I miss the passion that I grew to be annoyed by there.
I can't wait to move back.
Sometime soon... hopefully.
Plain and simple. My heart isn't at rest here.
I don't even know what my role looks like there but I just know I need to be there again. Soon!
Monday, May 4, 2009
The finalist are:
I am leaning towards Farsi but I am seriously excited about them all. I guess best case scenario I would learn them all but as for now I can only choose one. So what do you think? Persian, Chinese, the major language of India, or that crazy click from Africa?
Thursday, April 30, 2009
So I am sitting in Wamego fading away from Chemistry and coming into the realization that school is over in 14 1/2 days. That is scary.
I hope I have completed what I was set here to do. - Do you always doubt your accomplishments when it is time to move on? When I make the next transition in my life down the road will I wonder then, like now, if I made the most of my time?
Monday, April 27, 2009
What is it when we aren't tangibly upset or even worried but we just have an understanding that things are not the way that they should be? I would consider this FEAR but is it?
Does fear have to have feeling or can it just be an understanding? Can fear just be an awareness that something is out of place?
Can we fear fear? Can we be afraid of the feeling of fear when we put ourselves out there? Is this what causes us not to take risk? Is the fear of fear what causes us to be timid?
This goes past rejection and discomfort and this may not make sense to anyone but me but it works in my head... so I guess welcome to confusion that is my brain.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
All week I have been deep in the book of Acts. More so than anything on this miniature sabbatical I wanted to get extended time in the Word. Luckily that was a reality not just a failed hope. On Friday morning, right before my 10 hour journey from Evergreen, CO to Kansas City I stole a nice chunk of time and went into the trees overlooking Mt. Evans and dove into Acts 15. It is some powerful stuff. Luke talks in detail about Paul and Barnabas disputing the Pharisees from Judea and Antioch and their orders for everyone to be circumcised. Paul and Barnabas continually dispute the need for ritual to determine someones commitment to God. This leads all of the way to a meeting with all of the elders in the region where Peter stands up and makes this statement ;
"Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as He did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for He purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."
This week even though I was crazy busy I had plenty of time to process and over think things. I had so much time to consume my brain with contradicting thoughts and excuses to water down the scripture I had read. But, for this I only had one thought. For this, Acts 15: 7-11, I could only conjugate one conclusion.
Why do we try to complicate Jesus with ourselves?
Monday, April 20, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
My tenure (almost literally) is about to end and the dynamic duo of Manhattan, KS and Sam McCord will soon be coming to a close. What an amazing ride it has been. What an interesting relationship.
Its funny seven years ago I never saw myself in Manhattan, it just wasnt for me. Now many, many, moons later I dont see myself anywhere else. This is my home now. This is my town. This is the place that I love.
I am dreading the time when I have to actually write this post with depth and full emotion. Literally, leaving Manhattan is like losing a best friend. This sucks.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on
which binds them all together in perfect unity.
of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.
And be thankful.
Let the words of Christ dwell in you richly as you
one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with
in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
“As the forgiver, the person that needs to be forgiven should never question whether or not that person is willing to forgive because you should show them that much love.”
Those are a couple quotes from my wonderful friend’s father.
Forgiveness is tough but those who truly have love in their hearts can work through anything. Those who have love in their hearts need not worry about being unable to forgive because the deceit of hurt and self-pity has never penetrated their core.
Selfishness destroys our ability to forgive and our ability to persevere.
Forgiveness. Such an easy concept but such a hard act to execute. Once you can forgive though, how freeing love is.
Love never fails.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Yet, still there is one common bond among this ever diverse setting. There is fire in everyone here. When you are in University you still have a dream. Collegians alike are all building something. Some may be here to advance their pocket book, or to prepare themselves for the future, or equip themselves for others, maybe others for things far greater than my mind could even fathom, nonetheless there is a driving force. No matter the age, background, major, or motives there is something inside everyone in this building to do something more.
What if that something in everyone was more? What if that something in everyone stretched past academia and industry? What if that something in everyone was motivated by love and the burdens of others, even if it was the burdens of the lives of those sitting across from them at their study table? What if people made conversation with one another and looked each other in the eye as they pass by the printer instead of putting their heads down and ignoring the familiar strangers existence? What would the future look like if we took all of these people, some the most intelligent in the country, and replaced their fears and insecurities of one another with love? Just an all out passion for the best interest of our peers.
How can we equip the most advanced generation to stand up for something real? As college students we are supposed to be bold and intentional for the things that we believe in. I feel like I am surrounded by people who have all the knowledge imaginable, who are equipped beyond belief, to do huge things and change the world but don't have the guster or desire to actually make it happen. How does this happen? How did we come to the point that we are willing to settle with a facebook group or mass twitter to determine the outcome of something rather than physically demonstrating our beliefs. I am sitting on a college campus, the largest speaker phone to the world and it has been passed off as a congruent set of sidewalks and buildings. I am on a college campus, the largest mass of people ready to take on the world by the horns and it has become an egotistical, techy, lame excuse for social networking rather than social justice. Where did my generation go wrong? Where are the protesters and radicals? Where are the people with insane ideas and their opponents who bleed for nationalism? Why is the world controlled by the black keys of a MacBook Pro instead of black soot of the ashes of a burning couch fueled by the distress of passion?
Saturday, March 28, 2009
First, Hebrews 12:11 - No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Second, 2 Timothy 3:16 - All Scripture is God‑breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness
I dont think that it is a coincidence that the author(s) here (I'm not going to dispute who the author of Hebrews is at this time) relates righteousness to discipline and Scripture. With that said when we are allowing God to penetrate our hearts, work in our souls, and be displayed through us; when we strip or rid ourselves of the junk that can hold us from pursuing Him fully, and are in the Word, It directs our lives.
Somethig cool happened this week. As most of you know, this has been the hardest year of my life. With that said it has also been one of the greatest years of my life but I would be lying to say that it hasnt been a rough 12-14 months. A consuming period of time that has had so much spiritual, emotional, physical, and psycological stress. But God is good and never fails. His Word is real and impactful. It will lead us if allowed. Even the simplest things prove that, for example:
On Friday morning I laid in bed and hit the snooze button six times, thats 54 minutes of snooze. After the six, nine minute extensions of sleep, I decided class was not necessary at 930 on a Friday morning... and then it happened, "No discipline is pleasent at the time" was the only thing that I could think. It echoed through my head in stereo. My only response, "Rats!" I went to class.
That sounds like nothing but to me it was huge. A verse that I had memorized two years ago convicted my lazy body enough to get out of bed and brave the cold. Three weeks ago when I was at rock bottom, or six months ago when I was questioning the goodness of anything I would have never let myself become convicted by such a simple phrase. I would have over analyzed, over looked, and over slept the significance, the sheer necessity of what 'discipline' represents.
Gods word is encouraging, no doubt. But when we allow It to take the reigns it is dangerous. Dangerous in the sense that our character responds. Our character creates consistancy. Consistancy makes us holy and holiness sets us apart. Makes us new. New is good because the old is asleep in bed missing out on what the world really has to offer.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Stephen is being stoned for claiming Christ, more or less, and this is his response while being stoned. (7:59,60 and 8:1)
"While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.' Then he fell to his knees and cried out, 'Lord do not hold this sin against them.' When he said this he fell asleep. And Saul was there giving approval of his death."
To me there are a few cool things going on here;
1. Stephen is a baller and getting stoned for not being bullied and keeping the faith.
2. Stephen did not assume that he had 'worked' his way into heaven and in his final moments pleaded for his spirit to be received by Christ. (v.59)
3. He begged for the mercy of his persecutors. Knowing that they were not followers of Christ, therefore they did not know the severity of the sins they were committing.(v. 60)
4. Once he asked for the forgiveness of his wrongdoers he fell asleep. -- he did not die brutally but rather fell asleep while being stoned then died peacefully!
5. Saul was a witness of the death of Stephen, he was there listening, observing, and most importantly in favor of the slaying, literally cheering on the death giving it approval. Its crazy that Saul hears this plea to God from Stephen (who is faithful to God up until the very last stone which causes his death) and then in chapter 9 he, Saul, makes the conversion to follow the teachings of Christ
I just thought this was cool and wanted to share it.
Friday, February 6, 2009
The first apparent thing in Africa was that Jenny Craig would be out of a job... and probably the only fat person on the continent.
There were probably thousands of these paper flyers pasted to every public domain imaginable.
Good thing there are no side effects!
Disclaimer: Do not look directly into the eyes of the children. They will capture your heart.
You cant see it but right behind where I am taking this picture there is a highway sign in Arabic reading "Welcome to the Middle of Nowhere." Okay, there wasn't one but I am pretty glad that I am no longer 'stuck in Sudan' as our interpreter Mayom would have said.
Man, I miss that place.
So I have been looking through pictures from this summer (that is why there are spratic postings with random picture of nothingness or the occasional small African child) in this case I am emphasizing and utilizing the nothingness category. These two picture were taken about 600 miles apart but were in the same river which is pretty stinkin sweet. The picture on the left is in upcountry Uganda with my tent and pack on a bank overlooking the Nile river. The picture on the right is me in Jinja, Uganda about to take a very cold and what also seemed like at the time a stupid swim at the source of the Nile. The source. Anyway I work at the Pathfinder so I am obligated to post stuff like this.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
So here is an excerpt that I found relating to this song, You Found Me by The Fray, that Isaac Slade (the lead singer) wrote:
“You Found Me is a tough song for me. Its about the disappointment, the heart ache, the let down that comes with life. Sometimes you’re let down, sometimes you’re the one who lets someone else down. It gets hard to know who you can trust, who you can count on. This song came out of a tough time, and I’m still right in the thick of it. There’s some difficult circumstances my family and friends have been going through over the past year or so and can be overwhelming. It wears on me. It demands so much of my faith to keep believing, keep hoping in the unseen. Sometimes the tunnel has a light at the end, but usually they just look black as night. This song is about that feeling, and the hope that I still have, buried deep in my chest.”
There is something about this song that is just easy to relate too. From the intensity to the extremely real lyrics this song just grabs me.