Saturday, February 23, 2008

i think my power got shut off

In one of my classes this past Friday, we were discussing power. Mostly everyone in the class felt that money is power. I was so angry and frustrated at that assertation and belief. It cut me deep inside and I was seething. I could not express all I wanted to correctly. I felt like I wanted to leave out and just get away from that. I was wondering where Jesus was in all this? I never said that directly because how do you communicate that to a class full of people? I mean, I do not agree that money is power because Jesus is power to me. Also, the full meaning of that to me is that money is good and whoever has it gets to be in charge and that they are better. My family doesn't have money, I have no money ever... I really am pretty darn sure I will never have a surplus of cash either. It's not a goal. It's not important. Does that mean I have no power? In this class, i felt so frustrated completely I was physically uncomfortable. I looked around and realized that very few people are operating on the same system of life that I am. Jesus. Jesus is my operating system. It changes EVERYTHING. Money is no power because money is an earthly thing. The power in this world is usually corrupt and abused. Jesus is the power. God created all these people and their stuff and can blot us out in an instant. That's power. But I felt weird, like how do I communicate with these people that notion of power. In one of my other classes, I mentioned during a presentation that I was a Christian and that that identity colors everything I do and say and want. I feel like my credibility to speak to issues is lost in that class now. Some of the people that I was buddies with, don't really seem to speak to me as much or joke around with me anymore. In most of my classes, race and class and systems of government or hierarchy are discussed. I am a sociology major and my college was awarded the title of most diverse college in America two times in a row by some Harvard research organization so they work issues of diversity into every single class. SO I am constantly discussing these issues... Of the ideas and arguments and work it takes to be a part of this ongoing discussion. I feel like I am overstimulated with hard issues of God, religion, race, power, government, belief, ideology. I dont want to discuss it all anymore. Where is all this discussion leading anyway? I guess maybe money is power. Maybe thats why I was so frustrated, I dont want it to be that way. I don't really like most of the people I meet with lots of money and them having all the power leaves me and everyone else I know and like out in the cold. The implications of all those people in power freaks me out. If I agree that money is power than i am agreeing I have no power. Power to do what? Maybe sin is the power....

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What did you learn today?

I want to give a quick shoutout and THANK YOU to Dave Brecheisen. I chatted briefly with him today and he told me to check out Mark Driscoll. I did and I love it. I appreciate his blunt truth and he makes me laugh.I feel a sense of happiness and relief to hear him say some things I have been thinking but maybe feeling too young in my faith to spell out. here is the best quote I found from him so far:

"You have been told that God is a loving, gracious, merciful, kind, compassionate, wonderful, and good sky fairy who runs a day care in the sky and has a bucket of suckers for everyone because we're all good people. That is a lie... God looks down and says 'I hate you, you are my enemy, and I will crush you,' and we say that is deserved, right and just, and then God says 'Because of Jesus I will love you and forgive you.' This is a miracle."

Bucket of sucker? SKY FAIRY? he kills me. A little harsh, maybe a little too mean but the idea I get. and like.

Undoubtedly more to come on this on. Thanks Dave. Good looking out.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Get busy.

Two guys are talking to each other, and one of them says he has a question for God. He wants to ask why God allows all this poverty and war and suffering to exist in the world. And his friend says "well, why don't you ask?" The fellow shakes his head and says he is scared. When his friend asks why, he mutters "I'm scared God will ask me the same question."
Over and over, when I ask God why all of these injustices are allowed to exist in the world, I can feel the Spirit whisper to me, "you tell me why we allow this to happen. You are my body, my hands, my feet."

~ The Irresistable Revolution
by Shane Claibourne

I never read this book, nor am I familiar with the author. But this is truth, plain and clear.
I had this conversation lately and it has been plaguing me. I don't argue theology or compare bible verses often. But this person I spoke with recently claimed that we are promised peace on this earth. I disagreed vehemently, and still do. I am not strong in memorizing bible verses ( I wasnt't "Lucky" enough to attend bible college) nor do I sit around and read tons of those soft, mushy Christian authors who spew forth their fluffy meandering ideas about what we should be doing. I get out there, in those streets, and try to do. I read about areas in the world that are broken. I study the city to try to learn about how to work for those that haven't a voice. I see the brokeness first hand and it tears me up inside. I barely do, though. I could do more, with the armor of Christ, to love and be His hands and feet in a dirty, sinful world. Being a part of this broken decimated world, it is hard to hold onto peace and goodness and light especially if you are trying to be a light in dark places. I believe that to be in community with people you don't set yourself apart, you feel their pain and work with them. Christ's peace is found in that, seeing Him restore you so you can love and work for another day. I said once that the life of a Christian is hard and I stand by that. It's about going to where there is hell, and helping to build his kingdom on earth. A little less sitting around, chit chatting with the ladies and reading about how to be a better and more effective Christian, get off it and ACT.

Earth isn't a super special vacation. Our reward is heaven.

I have studied and memorized enough of the Bible to understand and recapitulate here that we are not saved by works. We are saved by our faith. But doesn't that faith breed love? and that love breed a Godly desire for justice and mercy? So logically, I would think that would lead us to action.

Friday, February 8, 2008


I am pissed. Seriously, pissed off. What a freaking day I have had.
-I woke up with an eye infection.
-It continued with missing my appointment with my Spanish tutor early this morning. We got a ridiculous ammount of snow and as I went out to shovel my car out again, my neighbor who drives an unexceptably large conversion van was stuck in the snow. My grandma was yelling for me to come in the house because she didnt want the neighbors to see me out in the street in my white pajama pants with pink chairs on them. I didnt want to wear my pants out because they would get full of snow. So two of the other neighbors and I pushed her unacceptably large van ( I mean she has no kids or large farm animals that she is carting around in this vehicle, she is not a construction worker so she is not hauling anything, what's the point?)out of the hole she burned my flooring the gas pedal (apparently she did not read arloa sutter's recent post about this ( Good think I did not have my jeans on becuase I was covered in splattered dirty snow. Then all the neighbors left for work and the block was empty. I got into my car, and realized I was stuck really really badly.
-SO, it was so late already and as I came in the house to catch my breath I see on the TV that the Kennedy expressway is so backed up the travel time was like an hour and half.

I gave up. I went back to bed.

-I got up later and got another poor neighbor to drive my car while I pushed that bad boy out of the snow. I jammed my wrist to high heaven and hurt my back.
-I went to school. I didn't do well on my Spanish test. No more open tutors this week.
-I was supposed to begin a nanny job today that would last the weekend. Alot of money to fix my car and take my cat to the vet and help out a friend in need. I needed it. I was planning on it. I spent about an hour doing laundry and packing for the 4 day weekend away from home. I turned down 3 other jobs for this weekend. The grandma called me and the youngest kid has strep throat and she doesnt feel comfortable leaving them alone with a nanny now.
-So I decide to visit a friend in the city I haven't seen for a while. I get to their house and a car is stuck in the snow and we push it out, further hurting my wrist.
I get home way too late from hanging out.
I feel discouraged about a couple things but am holding on.
-I open my email to find a response from someone I have really been struggling to connect with. Their response really hurt me like I haven't opened myself up to be hurt in a good, long time.

It was just the last straw on a really long, hard day.
My back hurts, my wrist hurts, my eyes hurt and are causing an awful headache but most of all right now my heart hurts and I can't get to sleep. The tears fall and I just keep wondering Why is it the people you think will be there for you, the ones that you really trust to see you, are the first ones to go when things get rough?

I had a bad day today. If only I could let it all go and get some rest, I could put hope in tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Some words and things I have just had it up to here with:

1. Changing-time for a change-vote for change-ready for a change-I promise change.
OK, enough. We all want change. Its the new buzz word. It is the new "read my lips no new taxes." Everyone wants a change from Bush.

2. Emergent-emerging church-emerging women-

To emerge: 1. to come forth into view or notice, as from concealment or obscurity: a ghost emerging from the grave; a ship emerging from the fog.
2. to rise or come forth from or as if from water or other liquid.
3. to come up or arise, as a question or difficulty.
4. to come into existence; develop.
5. to rise, as from an inferior or unfortunate state or condition

(I love

the church has been around for awhile. Women have been around for a while. Stop it already. Please. Thats like calling bottled water emerging. yes its been around awhile but now we package it and sell it so that makes it different, its emerging water. I am going to punch myself in the face.

I am also so sick of Snow that I seriously may lose my mind. Every couple of days, we are getting like 6 inches or more of snow. IF I have to shovel my car out one more time, I may cry. (yes I am lucky to have a car, I KNOW)I am sick of the noise the shovel makes as it hits the pavement, I am sick of the sliding noise the car makes as it gets stuck again in the snow, I am sick of the noise the snowplow makes at 3 in the morning as it plows the street but effectiely buries my car in a mound of filthy snow.I am sick f wearing sopping wet boots in class. I sick of the dog not wanting to go to the bathroom because the snow is too deep. I am tired of snow and cold and dreary. I am going to punch that furry groundhog that said more winter.

weighing it all out

I nanny for lots of families. The family I do regularly lives in Chicago by my school. I am so blessed to know them. They are a wonderful married couple with 2 sons; age 3 and 5 months. I was babysitting for them while the mom was pregnant with the boy who is now five months. The mom stays home while I am there usually and I love it. We tag team the boys and each take one and usually chat about everything as we play. We have become great friends and I feel like part of the family. They really have been a true source of comfort and happiness the past year. I have seen the baby boy grow these past months and take as much joy in him as they do. The thrill I feel as he accomplishes rolling over or his discovery of his own voice which he uses to shriek in a song like manner for several minutes at a time, the sadness I feel when he is sick or crabby- I really love him. The older boy is in preschool and I revel in hearing all about his teachers and his new friends and that the number 7 is his favorite. SO I love them and thank God all the time for the whole family and all they have taught me. The comfort they have provided cannot be measured.

I have had a lot of ups and downs, emotionally speaking, and the Lord truly does give and take away. I have to wonder, is He taking some of these people away for my benefit? I can only hope. I was forced to remove family members from my life and separated from friends I thought I would be close with forever. The pain of those situations still sting, some of the actions and word I will never truly be able to come to peace with for the hurt they caused. I find myself trying to see if the pain that those close to me balances out with the new additions, this family for example, that bring love and joy. I want to smash this scale. I dont want to try to count out my blessings and measure them against my losings/losses/failings.

I pray for forgiveness. Forgiveness that I can extend to others that have hurt me so deeply.
I pray for the ability to enjoy and revel in the blessings that the Lord has heaped on me.

And may I continue to turn my face to the Lord, and know that no blessing is greater than my salvation.

Friday, February 1, 2008

70 times 7, or no?

Where do you draw that line?

One of my greatest attributes is that I can forgive almost anyone for almost anything. I am so seriously flawed, and I appreciate not only God's grace (even though maybe I have a bit of trouble grasping/embracing it) but everyone around me 's extension of it. And I am a Christian, I was saved by grace and forgiveness. Thank Jesus.

One of my biggest faults is that I can forgive almost anyone for almost anything. I can forgive and forgive and get over it again and again and again. I will often say sorry, even when its not my fault exactly, so we can begin the healing process. It's not a fake apology, because I am sorry we fought and a disagreement ensued reproducing anger and hurt feelings. I have very little pride when it comes to this area. Basically, this ends up causing me hurt and enabling people to see/use me as a doormat. People sometimes seem to figure out that I am huge on forgiveness and perhaps, manipulate me or take advantage. They mistake my grace for weakness.

So lately I am faced with the conundrum of where do I draw the line?
Someone once told me that you can forgive someone, but not allow them back into your life to damage you once again. But this is not a picture of true forgiveness.
I have a few people in mind as I write this.

In one case, I am happier with them completely displaced from my life. I have experienced a lifetime of ridiculousness and want to just cut all ties. But the Bible tells me I have to forgive. I am haunted by the fact that Jesus has forgiven me for giving up on Him like 9 million times and where would I be without that? Damned, literally. SO I should go on ahead and work through this,but I dont want to and I feel it is detrimental to my mental health to be in contact with this person. So what do you do?

In the other case, I want this person to be near me all the time, but they keep doing things that make me hurt.They are messed up, in need of grace, just like me. I feel my grace tank is running on empty lately though. But Jesus's is never on empty and that is who I ultimately want to emulate.

When I die and come face to face with God, how will I answer for myself and my unwillingness to forgive? What if God chooses to punish me for those choices to banish people from me to save myself some pain? What if God chose to banish me to save himself the hurt I cause with my sin? And further more, dissension in His kingdom hurts the Lord. How can I say that I am a kingdom builder when I am not repairing relationships in my own life? It doesnt seem possible though.

When do you give up this fight?

someone answer me.

Mercury- not the planet.

I was super excited about those new lightbulbs that are suposedly better for the environment and better for your pocketbook. Plus, they have a cool shape -like a corkscrew. But watching the news (Channel 5- tonight got me seriously concerned. I have them in all my bulbs, I got my gma some and encouraged my boyfriends to get some to. The City of Chicago was giving 2 free bulbs away to low income households in December. The report on the news tonight showed that when the bulbs break Mercury is released! The woman who was being interviewed was upset because it cost her 2000 dollars to get the mercury out of her carpet, but I'm way more concerned about the health and environmental aspects of this release of mercury. I break stuff all the time, and if I break one of these new lightbulbs its serious! And what about when they burn out and we throw them out? I am sure 99.9% of them break. The report said an answer to this is to recycle them but who seriously takes the time to recycle a lightbulb? And you have to recycle them at a special HazMat (hazardous materials) place. What is going to happen when the 30 million that were sold last year alone (stats courtesy of NBC ten o clock news)find their way to the garbage dump and break and then all that mercury is exposed?

Check it out at
Worth worrying about a little.