Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from December, 2009

spar

My vacation is turning out to be much busier than I had hoped. The lazy days, sitting by the fire reading a book, are still strictly in my mind. We are planning a mega birthday celebration for my mother on January 1, and last night after a day crammed with lunch at the Mexican restaurant, a trip to a few stores to exchange gifts that didn't fit and redeem gift cards, scouting out the celebration facility, a trip to the photo studio for family pictures, and a late dinner, I sat down to organise the program (I am the MC), work on my power point presentation, and get the door prizes ready. I went to bed shortly after midnight and still left a few things undone. This morning I awoke, tired and coughing. Not pleasant.

One thing that has been going through my mind this week is the following question: What am I mad at God about? In fact, he was the one that asked me this in the middle of worship in church on Sunday morning. And then he said..."Let's talk about it. Don't just …

matrix vs. avatar

We went to see the movie Avatar last night. Some tout is as the new Matrix of movies: breakthrough CGI, lush fantastical landscapes, and the epic story of two worlds clashing. I did enjoy the experience and appreciated the visual gymnastics and creativity, but something was missing: it wasn't about being human.

Avatar takes you to a fantasy world; the human earth pales in comparison. The blue people are at one with nature and each other, mystically and spiritually mature. There is nothing that they want from the humans; they find most of them ignorant and blind. Perhaps it was because they were virtual or virtually perfect, but I was not particularly attracted to the giant blue aliens. I did not want to live in their world or be one of them. Despite watching the movie in 3-D, I found the Na'vi two-dimensional and unreal and therefore, unbelievable and somewhat boring. Their eyes were not full of life. You can't draw that into a character's eyes. It is only present in re…

the list

What do you want for Christmas? As an adult, I don't get asked this question much, and when I do (mostly by Dean), I am a bit uncomfortable answering it. I don't like being greedy or needy. I do like being content. But I also know that I do not stretch my hope and desire muscles enough, and that is not contentment - that is complacency.

God asks me almost every day what I would like (after I have talked to him about all the important people in my life and asked him to provide for them with extravagance, he usually asks...and what about you?). I am getting better at giving him a response. I am getting better at expressing my real desires (not for stuff, but those things that add genuine richness to my life) and daring to live in that scary place between deep longing and sweet fulfillment. It is where I live every day, if I am honest: some days more on the longing side and other days, leaning more towards the fulfillment end of things.

Here, then, are the things that I would like …

trojan movie

I went to see Invictus last night. Good solid movie, nothing flashy, story simply told. Halfway through it, I realised it was a trojan horse (sneaky device to get inside at your vulnerable bits). The movie is the story of South Africa coming together over a rugby team and the leadership of Nelson Mandela who saw what could be instead of what was. The Springboks are the SA rugby team, not the best rugby team by any means, and they are painfully aware of it. But that doesn't seem to matter to Mandela. He does not see their dismal record; he sees an opportunity for the country to rally together and overcome their division.

I sat in the movie theatre and realised that I am all too aware of my limitations. I am only a timid, simple, fairly emotional and reactive woman who can't remember dates and facts very well because I live so much in the moment; I am often too slow to speak when it matters the most and too quick to voice my thoughts when I should keep quiet or at least think thi…

gun-shy

We all have them. Friends who have had a bad experience at church, people we know who have been hurt or judged by Christians, and acquaintances who have seen the freaky side of religion and don't want to get anywhere near it. I feel for these people, I really do. I have been on both sides of the equation, so I know what it is like. I have freaked people out and judged others who are not like me. I have also been judged and condemned and seen things done in the name of God that made me cringe. These things bother me.

For all those people who have had a bad encounter with the church, I am truly story. I wish you could see that Christians can be really cool people: full of life and love, genuine in their honesty, and relentless in their pursuit of truth and transformation. Above all, I wish that you could see that they love God. They really, really love him and everything that he is about, because they know he can be trusted. They are not perfect, and they need grace for their mistake…

one down

Today, during the first snowstorm of the season, I handed in one of my two term papers. For those of you interested in a glimpse into the subject, read on. For the rest of you...go ahead and grab a snack during the next few paragraphs.

My topic was the significance of Jesus' first miracle as recorded in the gospel of John: the infamous turning of water into wine, notably one of the most practical, compassionate, and life-changing miraculous works Jesus did. Okay, I am being facetious, but let me tell you what I read about how people interpret this story. Mostly, theologians hold one of two positions: 1) they decide that it is an unfortunate story, not really a fitting start for the saviour of the world and either dismiss it as relatively unimportant or try to explain how it really wasn't about people getting drunk at a wedding party, or 2) they symbolise and allegorise and analogise the heck out of it, saying the whole thing is all about the Eucharist (communion for you reform…

dead end?

Do you ever have times in your life when you just want to say, "Forget it?" Being pretty much an "in the moment" type of person means that I sometimes lack the long-term perspective needed to keep me from getting discouraged by one or two apparent setbacks. One of the places I feel this most right now is in my faith community. The numbers are slowly dwindling as people find that work and school and life-stuff are taking on a higher priority in their lives; their connection with us is being squeezed out of the picture. I can only pray that their connection with God is not suffering the same fate. The dynamics of friendships are changing as well as we become less present in each other's worlds and lives.

Another place I feel this is in a slightly more structured setting when someone hijacks a discussion in class or in a home group and we end up way off topic and focusing on the interests of one person. This makes me uncomfortable. I am hesitant to say anything bec…

one-day remedy

So, my one-day recovery plan didn't work. I have been fighting (everything short of screaming and kicking) this silly cold for almost 9 days now. It is a vicious bugger of a virus and won't give up its warm and cozy host easily. I had a pretty busy week with classes, assignments, dinner parties, and a day of fun activities with Dean on his day off. By Friday night, or rather, Saturday morning at 2:00 am, I was feeling pretty bad. I decided to take Saturday and do a one-day recovery. Sleep in. Not exert myself. Sit on the couch and rest. Maybe read a bit. Drink lots of liquids. Avoid sugar and milk products (which are Mr. Phlegms' favourites). Take a nap. Give my body everything it needed to kick the virus.

It was a good day. I got plenty of rest. I didn't leave the house. I drank plenty of tea. It should have been enough to get everything back to normal, or so I thought. I had high expectations for the next day. I was up at 8:00 am on Sunday morning to go to a visiting …