man is a giddy thing
reason number 568 I love Honduras:
There is a teacher, named William, at the orphanage I have had the privilege of growing at the past two years in Catacamas, Honduras. He and I keep in touch through facebook, and our last message consisted of details on what the kids needed from America, like shoes, that I could work on getting down there. But the last part of his message struck me the most. I changed my profile picture recently and in it, I look as if I’m laughing, because when the picture was taken, I was. William speaks English, but not fluently, and still struggles sometimes with his words. Even with that barrier, which is a big one, he is able to speak straight to my heart, delivering the simplest, yet most PROFOUND message I’ve received in a while, one that brought tears to my eyes and a stillness to my soul:
“Oh, by the way I love your new profile picture, your eyes say I am the happiest girl in the world, because Jesus lives in my heart!”
When I used to go down to Brazil to buy gemstones, I would often buy something they call a parcel [random collection of gems]…supposedly, you get a better deal that way-but, you have to be careful, because of course the guy is trying to rip you off. He’s trying to unload his bad gemstones on you by packaging them together with a few really good ones…I used to get in trouble because I would get really excited about one or two perfect aquamarines in the parcel, and I wouldn’t pay as much attention to the junk they threw in there…have a careful look at the really bad stones. Look at them for a long time, and then ask yourself honestly, ‘Can I work with these? Can I make something out of this?’…it’s the same with relationships, I think. Anybody can love the most wonderful parts of another person…the good stuff is always going to be there, and it’s always going to be pretty and sparkly, but the crap underneath can ruin you.
Committed, by Elizabeth Gilbert
did you know that in order to get into graduate school you have to take the GRE? did you know that test is difficult and expensive and not offered in just every city and that you also have to finish your undergraduate education in order to get into grad school which is a lot harder than it looks these days especially for a free-spirited-likes-too-many-things-transfer and that if i dont finish by next may then i wont start graduate school by the fall which means spring is when ill start if im lucky but probably wont be until fall and its a lot of money but ill be too busy to have a job and thats only assuming ill get in and i feel sick.
then i think of Jonah. who felt a little overwhelmed by what he was supposed to do and decided to do what he wanted anyway and got swallowed by a fish. ew.
then i think of Job who held on for a while, pretending he was fine with all his overwhelmingness until he had denied it so long he lashed out, only to be humbled again
and i think of Jesus. who said, uh hi, overwhelmed by this task over here, isnt there another way? only to fully submit to a plan that He knew was greater than his (grad school).
oh Jesus help me to do that
it’s ironic, really, that marriage is so profoundly worshiped in this culture. People everywhere, seemingly regardless of the state, are obsessing over wanting, or not wanting, to be married, reveling in their “perfect” marriage, or desperate to get out of marriage. As a 21 year old Southern female, the prospect of marriage is right now an indefinite, big, scary, sparkly elephant in the room.
what’s even more ironic and actually a little disconcerting to me, is that the second most obsessed over thing, at least in the Western culture, is self. getting ahead in education (my aunt affectionately refers to a PhD as “piled high and deep”), jobs, money, physical fitness-need i insert “CrossFit” here?-and good looks; a never-ending dance. so, while marriage is ungracefully and sometimes abruptly emphasized, so is enhancing self. much of therapy consists of bettering the self by looking to past relationships and hurts, often consisting of family, thereby, marriage. i can’t even convey the amount of times older ladies and middle-aged men alike have mingled my self-worth with the prospect of getting married.
is anyone else confused?
i would be willing to argue that the “self” that is pushed in most of the world i know and exist in, doesn’t coincide with marriage. but, neither does the marriage i know of and have been taught about coincide with the image of an enhanced self. is it not true that the marriages that are marveled at are the actually happy ones who submit to one another equally, and the most desired self is the independent, carefree, business (wo)man who isn’t tied down?
this. is a problem.
maybe it’s important to point out here that i’m no expert. in fact, i’m probably better at relaying information in which ways relationships DON’T work more than ways they do. i’m simply a questioning, tired, college student, joyfully searching through to find my way amongst the mess of conflicting messages given to me. marriage, i’ve witnessed, doesn’t seem to work without identity of one’s own desires, flaws, and admittance into that dark corner of the soul, typically avoided, which i suppose we could call “self.” and for some unknown reason, people don’t seem to find this out until they are either in a serious slump of their marriage, or once their marriage is over (again, please don’t read me as being insensitive here. i suppose this is much like a man discussing the intricacies of a woman, considering i have never been married. i’m just an innocent bystander!) and then, there’s the weird paradox that those who have, by external standards, reached the climax of self sometimes feel lonely, desiring to be married, if not, or to find a new one, if already, “unhappily” married.
i have no answers. maybe only a profound amount of more questions. i was not raised to treat my childhood and adolescence as a means to an end, the end being marriage. in fact, i was raised to take care of myself, directly and indirectly, and to be independent. yet, i can’t argue that marriage is a bad thing, for those who know (know what, exactly, i couldn’t tell you, but i imagine it’s involved with the deeeeeep parts of one’s existence) and have now come to this weird crossroads of making the two meet and play nice. what’s even more ironic, i’m single ;)
i still love him even though his outfits are confused and confusing
dead week is the biggest joke of my young life.
The vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw regarding Judah and Jerusalem during the times of the kings of Judah: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Heaven and earth, you’re the jury.
Listen to God’s case:
“I had children and raised them well,
and they turned on me.
The ox knows who’s boss,
the mule knows the hand that feeds him,
But not Israel.
My people don’t know up from down.
Shame! Misguided God-dropouts,
staggering under their guilt-baggage,
Gang of miscreants,
band of vandals—
My people have walked out on me, their God,
turned their backs on The Holy of Israel,
walked off and never looked back.
”Why bother even trying to do anything with you
when you just keep to your bullheaded ways?
You keep beating your heads against brick walls.
Everything within you protests against you.
From the bottom of your feet to the top of your head,
nothing’s working right.
Wounds and bruises and running sores—
untended, unwashed, unbandaged.
Your country is laid waste,
your cities burned down.
Your land is destroyed by outsiders while you watch,
reduced to rubble by barbarians.
Daughter Zion is deserted—
like a tumbledown shack on a dead-end street,
Like a tarpaper shanty on the wrong side of the tracks,
like a sinking ship abandoned by the rats.
If God-of-the-Angel-Armies hadn’t left us a few survivors,
we’d be as desolate as Sodom, doomed just like Gomorrah.
”Listen to my Message,
you Sodom-schooled leaders.
Receive God’s revelation,
you Gomorrah-schooled people.
”Why this frenzy of sacrifices?”
“Don’t you think I’ve had my fill of burnt sacrifices,
rams and plump grain-fed calves?
Don’t you think I’ve had my fill
of blood from bulls, lambs, and goats?
When you come before me,
whoever gave you the idea of acting like this,
Running here and there, doing this and that—
all this sheer commotion in the place provided for worship?
”Quit your worship charades.
I can’t stand your trivial religious games:
Monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetings—
meetings, meetings, meetings—I can’t stand one more!
Meetings for this, meetings for that. I hate them!
You’ve worn me out!
I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion,
while you go right on sinning.
When you put on your next prayer-performance,
I’ll be looking the other way.
No matter how long or loud or often you pray,
I’ll not be listening.
And do you know why? Because you’ve been tearing
people to pieces, and your hands are bloody.
Go home and wash up.
Clean up your act.
Sweep your lives clean of your evildoings
so I don’t have to look at them any longer.
Say no to wrong.
Learn to do good.
Work for justice.
Help the down-and-out.
Stand up for the homeless.
Go to bat for the defenseless.
it’s a crazy turn of events really. i spent nearly one very stressful hour last night trying to register for classes. some of which i can’t actually register for because they conflict with times of classes i need for my major. classes i need for my major which i’m behind on because i transferred schools and like too many things so it took me a while to decide. which harding encourages…that whole finding you thing. classes i couldn’t register for that i need for my minor, in order to graduate, because i have to take a global literacy class which i apparently also need to graduate. luckily, though, we were able to pay for this semester’s classes so that i COULD register, or else there would be a hold on my account, forbidding me to register because i can’t pay for classes that i…can’t register for because i’m behind and… right. perfect sense.
wouldn’t trade it :)
trying to take God’s words seriously, they [the Pharisees] wound up creating a performance model for righteousness. On that model, righteousness was centered on deciphering Scripture and holding oneself and others to the most scrupulous observance of divine law in every detail-while ‘missing the point’ about loving God and loving neighbor… For the sake of perfect separation from all that defiles, one judges piety mostly in terms of the evil he shuns rather than the goodness and joy he radiates. Over a period of time, the system makes one increasingly angry, critical, and isolated.
Divorce and Remarriage: A Redemptive Theology
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