Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Behind a veil

Tonight at class we experienced a little muslim culture. The men and women had separate entries. Upon walking in the door I was told to cover my head with a scarf. I walked into the room which had been divided by a lace veil. The area for the women was rather small and on the floor several women were sitting on pillows, dressed in veils and some in full Arab dress.

I knew this night was coming, but I hadn't expected it to bother me. It's just experiencing another culture, right? But it did affect me. In fact, it bothered me a lot. The speaker addressed the men without a glance at our side of the room. We sat in silence as the men participated in the lesson. After about an hour, the veil was taken off and we proceeded as normal.

I wrote down a few words describing how it felt, disconnected, useless, unwanted, superfluous. The head covering is there (for modesty too) in our Bible as a visible sign of submission. As I watched the men from behind the veil, I thought about what it means for a wife to submit to her husband. I decided I didn't really know what that meant. For his decisions to overrule mine, for my input to be a side note? Is that what it's like sometimes? I'm so used to my input being respected and listened to...

How do women in that culture maintain a feeling of significance? My words imply that I believe in the headship of men, but I'm not sure they are heartfelt. This is an extreme example perhaps, and I know that there are many issues inside this issue, but I'm only addressing the one tonight (sigh of relief). How do I learn what it is to be under submission while maintaining my opinions, thoughts, beliefs? God didn't give me a mind to waste, but where does it come into play?

I am an American, and I have a lot of frames that I've fit life into. One of my professors said that people don't reject those lifelong frames unless there's some sort of crisis. I like being around diversity. It doesn't confuse, like it may sound when I'm on here, but it does make me think. I think that's a good thing. I think it's a bad thing to always be around the same type of people who hold the exact same beliefs as yourself. Trees fall down when there's no wind...

So tonight, I stepped outside one of my frames and took a look. Now God, teach me from that new perspective.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Jim Wallis

I know, two posts in 1 day... Make her stop!!! I'm not making you watch this though. It's kinda interesting.. ever heard of Jim Wallis, author of 'God's Politics' ? The other guy I've never heard of, but the name calling is a bit ridiculous yea? And, I've never heard evangelical democrats arguing. And I've been studying it. hmmm... I'm pretty sure Jesus doesn't like name calling and lying, but I could be wrong.... Of course, I did notice that Jim Wallis was kinda putting down right wingers as well, so it's on both sides. AND the sanctity of human life is ver important however it does not stop after birth. Children out of the womb ARE just as important as those still in the womb. Not very consistent are we? well, let me know what you think. there were a bunch more videos of him on YouTube. And God is not on any particular side of politics. What is important is that we try to do what He said to do. AND if God is not on the right OR the left, why is it so wrong for Jim Wallis to say he's in the middle?? SOrry, I just don't like the other guy much. He doesn't make any sense to me. If you're going to care about sanctity for human life, be consistent! and read your bible... my goodness... I need to go to bed.... I do really like what Wallis had to say. We'll see though. Actions speak louder, yea? So what's this guy doing for the poor? Maybe I'll look him up.

I forgot to mention a quote my friend told me. He went to this conference somewhere in the midwest, and the speaker said that the people of the 21st century are going to be listening with their eyes. I guess they're tired of listening with their ears. Speech doesn't mean much these days. They're not going to believe a thing that's said unless they can see it lived out too. Or maybe just lived out, like St. Francis said, "Share the gospel at all times, only use words when necessary."


It's as if I'm a binge blogger or something. All at once and then nothing at all. Take in all the ideas, think about them for a while, then spit them out at you. Ok, so maybe that's not a very attractive way of stating it, but, it's what came first to mind...

I'm excited about a couple of things that I wanted to share (and I'll have to keep it short cause I have Perspectives in a minute..)

I heard 2 people talking about orthopraxi today in two completely different settings. How exciting, yea? For those of you who don't know wha orthopraxy is (like me before today..) it's orthodoxy in practice I guess. Walk the talk, you know? I love it when you start hearing about the same thing from different people, it's a neat way to see the work of I AM.

The other exciting thing, I get to witness the strength of the Lord in people. It's incredible, I wasn't there for the beginning, but I get to see it closer to the end (although, technically there's not an end). I get to watch God pour His healing and mercy into a few people's lives, and it's so encouraging to me, I can't tell you. Maybe because the situations I've been around for in the past haven't turned out this way, at least not yet. It's my dream mom. (I'll tell you about my dream some other time if you don't know, no time today..)

Well, it's been a good day. Go put some theology into practice!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

President's Day? not for us...

*ding* Round one for papers is over!

I live in a garden. It smells nice.. We got flowers for Valentine's Day. Lots o roses and daisies (the friendliest flowers) and lilies!

We're all wondering, here in Flagstaff, just why NAU enjoys torturing us so much. Not only do they overcharge us for every little thing they can (and they do.), they are taking away our holidays. This is starting to get serious.

WHere is Justice when NAU is holding classes on President's Day, and EVERY other place in town gets to enjoy it? CCC doesn't even have classes.

Mercy, President Hager (that's his name yes?), not sacrifice. Here is where I must stop.

We found a little movie rental place that has great selection of indie and foreign films. AND it's close to Little Ceasar's WHICH I found out has $5 large pizzas. No on e told me about this. Why? that's almost as good a deal as the $3 breakfasts at the Place. And Taco Tuesdays. And no, I don't actually eat out a lot. It's just nice to know about these things.

I made beef stew the other night, and it turned out pretty good, but not as good as my mom's. I've heard that this is the curse we all face. My cooking will never be as good as yours, mom.

Well, it's not much, but it's an update I guess. I'm in the middle of a good book, so this is the end.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

oh the days go by

It is so amazing how clean my house gets when I have homework to do. Every time.. My car got clean too! incredible, what I won't do to avoid writing a paper. Don't worry though, I'm almost done with it and it's not due til tomorrow. That, my friends, is what I like to call a miracle.

The snow was coming down yesterday. I went to class in the morning and it was pretty nice out. About an hour later at work I looked out the window and it was all white. That's Flagstaff for ya. It was gorgeous though. Big, big fluffy white flakes. it's pretty in the day, but it's beautiful at night. I played Christmas music and lit the christmasy smelling candles and sat on my couch thinking about christmas past. Michael W. Smith's christmas music is some of the happiest music I know of. Mmm I love it!

It's exciting, you know, to hear about what God is doing in different places. It's so uplifting to hear stories.. incredible stories of love shared, dances being danced..

Recently I've heard people talking a lot about the Year of Jubilee. Wouldn't it be amazing if we experienced a Year of Jubilee? A year of sharing, not necessarily even our material possessions. That would be nice, but it's not most important. Just sharing joy, the hope we share. The year of Jubilee was practiced by the Jewish people. Every 7 years they would let the land rest and split it back into equal shares among the tribes. Debts were forgiven (debts were forgiven!) and it was a year of jubilee! Self-explanatory.

Well, it's something to think about anyways. Or to dream about. Heck, we could do it while we're at it ;).

Monday, February 05, 2007

Tidbits from the news

Tidbits from today's news....

"It's now illegal to feed the homeless in Orlando, Florida," Jay Leno, host of NBC's "Tonight Show," told a studio audience last summer in Burbank, Calif., during his opening monologue. "Have you seen the fat people walking around Disney World? We should make it illegal to feed THEM."

Ok so that might be offensive, but it is true that so many have so much while next them are those with so little.

"Feeding the homeless only encourages more homelessness," one resident, with the moniker "Justin Credible," wrote. He then summed up his argument in an equation. "Less Homeless Less Problems Better Place to Live."
Yeah, so all you homeless people in Orlando just go buy a home and the world will be a much better place. Feed yourselves. What? no money? no job? What are you talking about? Of course you can live off of minimum wage. Don't be ridiculous...

"Another, "TG," didn't oppose feeding the destitute. "But there are places set up for this. Soup kitchens exist …"
But we don't want to pay for them...

"the number of people living on the streets of the Orlando metro area swelled, from roughly 5,000 in 1999 to an estimated 8,500 today, dwarfing the city's shelter capacity for 2,000 people. "
Apparently outlawing homelessness is not helping the problem.... huh.

Ok I'm done being sarcastic. Things like this just get on my nerves. maybe because I live in the 10th meanest city to homeless people. This was from ABC news.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Prayer of the Refugees

You should watch this. Mute the music if you don't like it ;), although the music is good...

Rise Against - Prayer Of The Refugee

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unity and love

I can see a movement growing in our nation. A people who recognize the need for community, for social justice, for something more than the do not's we have had. I see a need for unity, the setting aside of religious prejudices, political prejudices. The church is not dying, it is not all corrupt, and it is not bad. It is only changing. Growing, through the old and the young, into what we need.

It is not that the church is not trying to care for people (not all of it anyways), it is that they are maybe ill-equipped to do so. The poor (the poor in spirit and poor in circumstance) are no longer in our midst as they were in the early church's, they are "out there". That's not ok. It's not our job, our responsibility, to bring them to church. It's our blessing to share love and what we have with them. And we don't need to only go to them. We need to be with them. Does that make sense? When I think of go, I think short term, there's still separation between their lives and mine. When I think of be, I think not of my life and theirs, but of togetherness.

Did not Christ ask us to give up the lives we have had in order to do His work? I know it sounds nice in idea form, but in practical everyday life form it's just not practical. When was Jesus practical? Do you know, I think everyone is prejudiced to some extent when they read the Bible. I know I am. I don't think it's wrong, I think it's wonderful. Wonderful that God made us to reflect Him. Wonderful that He is so MUCH and we don't even have the capacity to reflect Him entirely, and so He made us all different so that we can see His many reflections.

A friend of mine once used the illustration of a diamond. Many facets, same rock. Same Rock. It's the reason I like to go to my charismatic church on saturdays and my baptist church on sundays. Of course the churches are different! God is not flat, He is full. He is so full, the different aspects of Him spill out into different people, and they are only reflections of that.

It is only wrong if you allow your prejudices, the way you see the Word, to allow disunity. If I wanted to go to a church I agreed with in every way, I'd have to start my own. Really, I don't care if a church is about something a little different in one area than I would be so long as they have God, have His Love which they are sharing, and believe that Christ is His son, etc. Is it going to matter in Heaven if you believe in two baptisms or one, or will it matter that you loved? 1 Cor. 3 and Philippians 2:2-3.

I have gone off on a tangent, and I don't remember why, but I don't really want to re read what I've written cause I'm tired and need to go to bed. As soon as I get this out, otherwise I will not be able to sleep.

I just want so much for you to understand what I've been learning and dreaming about. I want to get it out that I believe Jesus talked more about caring for the poor than he did about following rules. I believe the Word emphasizes community, and that's why we're praying and dreaming about starting a community house. I believe God's heart is for the poor, and the socially abused. Read James 1:27, Isaiah 58, Jesus words (any of them), Matthew 12:7, etc. I believe that the extreme individualism to the point of darwinism (survival of the fittest mentality), and love of wealth needs to change, that the change has to start with us.

I believe we need to be lovers of peace, not of war. The church of Iraq prays for us, because it is known that the religious right supports the war. Am I a pacifist? who knows.. but I do believe in peace, I know that much.

I just heard about a group of community houses called the Boiler Rooms, part of the 24-7 prayer thing. The author of Blue Like Jazz writes about his church's journey to community. The Irresistible Revolution is another book that seems to be sweeping across the whole nation. It is all about community, and the houses they have in the Philly and Camden areas that they've been able to love people through. I could mention more.

It's just so exciting to me, to hear and read about the way God is moving through our country. He has a theme, and it's one of love. It goes beyond the normal theology and religious sects and into unity beyond those things. The uniting comes from a heart that has been given to all the children of God. Hopefully we can all uncover that, when it's been covered or shoved aside, hopefully we can all learn what it means if we never knew. Most of all I pray that we will embrace that heart, desiring mercy and not sacrifice, and learn to live through that. With it. In it.

Maybe, I hope, we can show our people the true love of God. Maybe we can break through the prejudices created by "christians" who have become pharisaical and unloving. Maybe, just maybe, they will join our dance.

Once, there was a small group of kids who decided to go to a park in the middle of the city, and dance and play, laugh and twirl. As they played in the park, they thought that maybe another child would pass by and see them. Maybe that child would think it looked fun and even decide to join them. Then maybe another would. Then maybe a businessman would hear them from his skyscraper. Maybe he would look out the window. Maybe he would see them playingand ay down his papers and come down. Maybe they could teach him to dance. Then maybe another businessman would walk by, a nostalgic man, and he would take off his tie and toss aside his briefcase and dance and play. Maybe the whole city would join the dance. Maybe even the world. Maybe... Regardless, they decided to enjoy the dance.
-Shane Claiborne (Irresistible Revolution)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

what a concept

What a busy week! It's the hardest thing to slow down when you need to when everything that's going on is so good. That's my lesson of the month. Slow down... just say no!

Part of it (BIG part), of the busyness, is in my mind. I have a couple of classes that are so interesting, but somewhat mind-consuming, and I tend to go over and over and over things in my head once I hear something. I over-analyze, not tht you've noticed that on here haha..

You've been getting political blogs outta me because of my Policy and Legislation class, as well as a book I recently read called the Irresistible Revolution. I'm also in a class on fundamentalism called Recent Trends in Religion. That's a thinking class as well, which I'm thoroughly enjoying. Everyone in the class is interested in the topic, which always makes a class ten times better. The instructor is very good, and challenging, and I like being challenged. The only problem, as I have stated, is that I over-analyze, so I like to hve a while to think over ideas and when there's so much to process every week I get into over-drive mode. Then I get tired.

And thus the state I am in right now. My body is rebelling against busyness, physically and mentally. Last night I spent some time reading psalm 94 and it was so good. It was the perfect thing for me to read, and after that I felt the weariness lift right off of me. It was amazing. And just in time for bed haha..

So, I got a revelation this morning :), that this world is not my home. That it will never be perfect (ideal), and that I need to chill out.

I'm also taking a class outside of NAU called Perspectives (highly recommended), and heard an interesting thing I don't think I'd heard before (although I could have, and just didn't process it). Missions exists because worship doesn't. hmmm... Why were we created? To worship, to be with God and to glorify Him in all His goodness. (what is the chief end of man....) What good are we unless we are doing that and helping others to do it? It is in that that there is rest for the soul.

God always said lif would be hard on earth, but He also always promises rest in Him. (Second half of the lesson.) So go worship the Lord and get some rest!