December 31, 2008
Once again, Urbana.org’s weekly compilation of articles has blown my heart away.
If you’ve ever struggled, like I have, with the concept of perfection, you might be as blessed as I was to read these.
Transformed Nature :: K.P. Yohannan
Don’t obey the Bible to be spiritual.
Simply Perfect :: Ask Jack
How to be perfect as your heavenly father.
Facing Our Limitations :: Kingdom Come
“Dealing is the key to avoiding breakdown.”
The Man Who Sees God :: Urbana Classics – 1951
“You must be undone before God uses you.”
It really is amazing how well these four pieces work together.
What blew my mind?
The word translated “perfect” here means something that has realized the purpose for which it was planned, designed, and made.
- Ask Jack
Amazing. Perfection (to me) has always been what I made of it – some imaginary state of completeness, of having arrived, of being done. I, of course, never seem to arrive, am never done, and I hated the fact that I had this idea of perfection yet was incapable of achieving it (even WITH christ).
But I’m starting to realize my perfection is not of Christ, and the things I do in Christ are never with a goal such as “be perfect” in mind. Instead, when I am in Christ, I am doing things much more aligned with who God created me to be, and as Christ works through me, it’s clear that this is the way I was always meant to work.
Understanding that perfection is no longer “making no mistakes” but instead the realization of what we were designed for, gives me a great peace. I know, in part, some of the ways God uses me that are unique to me, ways that illuminate the role I alone can play on this earth.
And if perfection means realizing what I am, rather than becoming something I’m not, well, then I think I can do that in Christ.
December 30, 2008
Praise the Lord!
- From RW&CO.
- On sale!
- Took less time to try on and decide on than it did to find a parking spot in the mall during Boxing Week. Literally.
- Brown version of what I had originally envisioned for my wedding dress (lace overlay with a satin ribbon). Which is ironic, and beautiful.
I’m really really grateful:
- That I have 2 bridesmaids.
- For my mom, who scoped out the store before we got there and found the only three brown dresses.
- That they had their size. No need for alterations.
- That the dress is multi-purpose!
- That it took about 15 minutes, and then we sat and chatted for probably half an hour over hot chocolate and caramel lattes.
Kids, God provides.
December 30, 2008
I like tilt-shift photography, or as I like to call it, making big things look itty bitty.
December 29, 2008
I has a cold.
December 24, 2008
We had the Candlelight service at church tonight. It was good times.
It really is possible to forget that Christmas originated in the Bible…not the Christmas trees and the lights but the gift giving and the family time and the worship of God…
It’s almost foreign to have the Christmas story read from the Bible.
With the angels and the shepherds and the awkwardness…
you know what’s awkward? Being pregnant by the Holy Spirit. That’s awkward. And it’s not like people just forgot that Joseph wasn’t the father. Jesus comes back to Nazareth and he can’t do any miracles there – that’s the town where they don’t have enough faith for him to heal – because they all know him as “Mary’s son.”
Also awkward? Birthing in a stable. Props to Joseph, so that she wasn’t doing this alone. But there were animals there. That place was not just unsanitary, but it could’ve been cold (it was night if there were stars out).
More awkwardness – shepherds you’ve never met before, show up and say angels told them to come and worship. Firstly, it’s awkward to talk to angels – most people seem terrified whenever that happens. It’s happened to Mary, and Joseph (just once each, mind you) and now it happens to shepherds. Secondly, you’re alone with your wife, with your new son, and you know something big is going to happen with his life but right now you’re just experiencing exhaustion, excitement and the fear of God, then strange smelly men show up saying they’ve been talked to by angels, too. None of this makes sense so far but it’s their REALITY.
There is so much about the original Christmas that isn’t ideal. It’s not comfortable, they’re not surrounded by supportive family members, and who knows if Mary and Joseph’s parents ever came to believe that Jesus was born while Mary was a virgin, much less the son of God. Can you imagine how hard that would be to accept? That your daughter/daughter-in-law birthed the Messiah? Imagine. Mary and Joseph were alone, and probably not even in love the way we normally understand couples to be before they get married. Were they practically strangers to each other? Their common ground right now is faith in what the angels said. Faith in God. But they’re both in the dark about a lot of this stuff.
Joseph was a GOOD MAN. The idea to quietly divorce is noble, but then to respond to the angel favourably, and then take her, 9-months pregnant, to Nazareth! It blows me away what these two did!
And they were poor. That gold, frakensense and myrrh that eventually showed up must’ve been the ultimate “I didn’t know what we were going to do, and then this happened” moment. It’s a lot of responsibility, being a parent, but here they have a kid – do they even understand he’s the son of God? – and they’ve gotta feel pressure to raise him right and provide everything he needs. I’m sure that gold came in handy.
And Mary. The quiet one, who “Treasured all these things in her heart.” In other words…it didn’t all make sense right away, but she treasured what was happening, she was paying attention and taking notes. I think she knew that God would be faithful and it would all make sense one day. She even lived to see her son die…that must’ve been the biggest blow so far in her crazy life. But you know what? She didn’t disperse like the disciples did, she was at the foot of the cross. I think she somehow knew.
Actually, this whole time, she knew very little. She only had one angel appearance. So did Joseph. She was pregnant for nine months. Who knows if she got any family support. She gave birth in a stable. She was never rich. Does it make sense that God would come in the form of a child and be born to her, of all people? Does it make sense that he would die a criminals death on a cross? Then he rose again. So much of Mary and Joseph’s story is that of having faith, trusting God on what little assurance they had been given, and just … living life. Normally. Going about duties, and responsibilities. Believing that God would be faithful to his plan, no matter how much they were in the dark about it.
She also knew she was humble; an undeserving woman who had found favour in the eyes of God (clearly unbeknownst to her, clearly not her intent, clearly not an expected turn of events) and who would be called blessed by all generations. For being the mother of Jesus.
A kid is a blessing. They’re not mistakes, God doesn’t make mistakes. Whether we respond as we should doesn’t change the fact that a little baby is one of those gifts, straight from God. We don’t deserve to have them, people could’ve just emerged from eggs, that magically appear, in forest knolls. But God designed reproduction to be relationship, to be intimate, to create like he did, to be the result of love.
But how do you wrap your head around the idea of being the mother of Jesus. You didn’t just have a kid. Your kid’s father is God. Something spiritually significant, in a “created something from nothing” kind of way just happened inside you. It blows my mind. Then an angel talks to you. But the world hasn’t changed…just yet. John the Baptist is in the making (literally), but he hasn’t prepared the way just yet. So everyone thinks you’re a liar (or crazy). EVERYONE. Except your betrothed, who is also visited by an angel. Something spiritual is happening and not everyone is privy to it. You’re not going to fit in, when you’re a pregnant virgin.
But you have faith! Woman! You are a woman! And God could’ve emerged from an egg in a forest knoll, or more likely, descended from heaven on a cloud, yet he chose to be born!
Talk about being blessed.
And she had other kids! (I’m not catholic, I don’t think she stayed a virgin.)
You know, I think she might’ve understood…in bits and pieces. I think she had enough, to lean on. To base her faith on. But I don’t think she always got it. I’m sure she was confused and overwhelmed with helplessness when she saw her son on the cross. But I think when he rose again, she got it.
Blessed indeed! She saw Christ more than anyone else. She knew him. He loved her. She loved him.
Wow. It just struck me that God knows maternal love. Brotherly love. He had siblings. He was a first-born, eldest child. He was probably the responsible one with the least in common with the rest of his siblings. Yet he was a child. An adolescent. A young man. He loved his mother. And all of these relationships weren’t foreign to him because they were a part of God’s plan.
You know, I bet Mary was easy to love. She seemed like a humble, good woman of faith. And incredible woman of faith. And she was very close to God. :)
but Jesus knows what it’s like to have a good relationship with his mother. I should really ask him what that’s like. Maybe, the healing Jesus brought to his own mother (I assume he would be a tremendous blessing to her, in ways that made her a better woman by knowing him), I can bring, in Christ, to my mother.
my only hope, has been, and always will be, in Christ.
The little baby, who grew rather unremarkably, normally, into a man, and then died to save the world, and rose again. What a thing to celebrate. Not his ‘birthday’ (that’s cheese), but that he is with us. Emmanuel. My favourite name of God. God with us.
December 23, 2008
for blood pressure. Apparently.
I went to the doctor and he did that pumping arm thingy.
Classic symptoms of low blood pressure include:
* Dizziness, or feeling like you’re standing on a rocking boat
* Changes in mental status (difficulty concentrating, confusion) or a sense of “impending doom” or anxiety
* Changes in breathing patterns (fast, shallow breathing is common during an episode of low blood pressure)
* Suddenly feeling cold or clammy, or a rapid onset of pale skin
I scoff at the “sense of impending doom”. Scoff!
Does the fact that I assume I’ll die young and tragically count as a “sense of impending doom” because I always just thought I had a healthy appreciation of the fragility of life…
I don’t regularly feel dizzy. Only if I sleep too long, and I always assumed that my inability to stand upright after 15 hours of laying horizontal had to do with low blood sugar.
December 23, 2008
I think this quote is funny.
December 22, 2008
I’m sharing this so I’ll be accountable. It works out to about two a week. It’s part of her Christmas present.
And of course, there can be MORE than a hundred. But it’s to encourage me to make a concerted effort to talk to my grandma more. She’s a fascinating, wonderful lady, and I just don’t call her enough.
December 21, 2008
Made it for breakfast.
(use Egg Nog instead of milk)
December 20, 2008
I can’t stop thinking about this stupid movie. Which I suppose is a good thing for a movie about the end of the world. It makes you think about what would happen if nukes struck. Sheffield, England.
First problem with this movie. Russians aren’t stupid. They don’t want to end life on this planet.
Secondly, Americans aren’t stupid. They don’t want to end life on this planet, either.
Thirdly, OH MY GOSH NO ONE IS GOING TO NUKE SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND.
So not only do I think that this writer is an egomaniac/moron, thinking that Sheffield would get nuked, but he has no faith in/understanding of humanity whatsoever, and is completely ignorant to the rest of the world.
The world does not end when America, Europe, and Russia are bombed out of existence.
IF Europe was nuked, guess who would come to your rescue? China. Japan. Australia. Good people in small countries. WHY?! Because America, Russia and Europe are not ALL THERE IS TO THIS WORLD.
Frig. It would not be friggen medieval times. People would emigrate! If they survived they wouldn’t turn into scared rats.
Moreover, in a single generation (or 14 years), children would not have FORGOTTEN HOW TO SPEAK ENGLISH.
People would teach their kids how to talk. People would form families and band together. There would be joking. People would sing around the fire at Christmas time – come on, these are British people we’re talking about here. They’re resilient.
People around the world have faced things as bad and worse than nukes. Hiroshima, anyone? Draught. Famine. Disease. Genocide. It happens all the fricken time. This guy just wanted to feel important so he hypothesized Sheffield getting bombed, and he wanted to feel power over people so he incited fear with every helpless scene in this movie. If he had actually studied some history, maybe he’d know that people tend to bounce back, even from the worst atrocities.
You know what I hated the worst about this movie? You get to know these characters while life is normal and fine, but there’s very little about them after it happens. All you see is stunned faces. Panic, riots, etc. I’m not saying some of the specifics portrayed wouldn’t happen, but if this is a tragedy because it happens to human beings, at least portray human beings after the fact. The scariest thing about this movie is that they’ve destroyed humanity, the thing that makes us human, with the bomb, but no bomb can do that. Hence: unrealistic. Or as I like to call it: Stupid.
People are dying throughout the entire movie, and the last hope dies in the final scene – with a stillborn child. This is basically a “end of the world” movie where humanity takes quite a long time to die. And that’s what watching this movie felt like. A slow death.
You know what would happen if we got nuked? People wouldn’t forget how to teach English. No one would say “Gizzeh!” instead of “give it” or whatever the heck they were trying to say. People would still make clothes and wouldn’t start wearing sacks and use plastic bags tied around the ankle for shoes. We would rebuild.
The problem with this movie isn’t that it’s a depressing foretelling of the future, it’s that it’s completely unrealistic. If he wanted to create a list of things that might happen, and then have actors play it out, fine. But don’t call it a movie. Don’t develop the characters, and then completely drop the character development and imply that human beings become scared silly. Make this thing balanced. It takes at least an hour for us to even get to the nuking. Then there’s 14 years (come on, really? 14 years and you’re still wearing burlap?) of the aftermath. And then the stillborn child. So that’s it, eh? Really? Humanity is done now? Where’s your imagination? Or did you run out of depressing predictions about the future and just end with the last one in a long line “this will likely happen, then this could happen, this might happen, then this would happen…”
This movie disgusted me. This guy may have his scientific theories about what would happen, but he doesn’t know people, and he sure as heck doesn’t know how to make a movie.