Thursday, March 27, 2008

Chapel today=amazing

most people hated it. i find that happening a good amount. the ones i really like, others don't. But i did overhear a few people praising it. That was encouraging. In all fairness, it was a little hard to listen to. The guy that was supposed to come got sick but sent his manuscript so Dr. Litfin read it. I admit, it is hard to listen to someone read. But such good subject matter. The discipline is in paying close attention--if you lose him for a little while, you lose him forever. Anyway. The subject was: theology in an age of terror. Fabulous. Lots of good history; lots of good fact; lots of good truth; lots of good inspiration. He quoted Augustine a lot. wonderful. sigh.

Addressed the extremes the Church needs to be aware of (to avoid): utopianism and cynicism.

gave a great story about St. Assisi...probably one of my favorite parts of the whole thing. Tied it all up with...genuine Christian faith walks the thin line between sweetness and nausea.

the charge: the world is short of breath. Do not lose heart. He will renew your youthful strength and you will rise up on wings like eagles. We are called to remain faithful to the calling of Christ.

ah. so good.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

oh wow. sometimes my heart hurts so bad...unexpectedly

came across something I wrote two days after I arrived back in the states last november. man, time flies.

"The world, God's world, is so much BIGGER than all that my "whole
world" was here. We have no idea, I think, what lies beyond the
borders of our country, the borders of our vision, the borders of our
desires...there are so many MORE people and so many MORE things to
think about and consider "out there." I'm sort of stuck between two
places--my heart longing for the country and people I love but knowing
this is where God wants me right now and I need to be "all here,"
ready for the work He brings my way, eager to obey and follow. Sigh."

my heart is in a quiet place tonight. A quiet place that sorta hurts.

Darlin' do not fear what you don't really know

I don't actually have much to say. Only that I am listening to this song...on the "Hannah Chicago Mix" and I like it. I like that line...darlin' do not fear what you don't really know. maybe because its such a challenge for me. hm.

I've been blessed by random acts of mercy and unexpected experiences of grace. I am BIG TIME learning that...

we don't always see grace but Grace always sees us.

I'm back from spring break. It's good to be back. It was sort of warm today, that was encouraging. I look forward to more sun.

Friday, March 21, 2008

This song is of incredible encouragement to me right now...

In the arms of a good Father
You can go to the deep water
Where the questions, we have left unspoken
Come out in the open
We will find shelter here

So I lay down, what I cannot hold in my hands
Every sorrow and hope spinning out of control
And here I find sweet resolution comes in letting go
And we will find shelter here

When I look back I can see,
And when I am old I’ll remember these things
Like a mountain of stone
And the longing that makes me believe…

There is a tree by the blue river
Where the shade stretches wide over
In this breaking we are hand and glove
Come with me my love
We will find shelter here
We will find shelter here…
(Sandra McCracken)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sound of Silence

Gerhard said, “the enemy of this age is noise and business.” I had forgotten. It was so long ago that I heard these words. Well, maybe only eight months. I am quick to forget. Dr. de Rosset says we must evaluate every bit of technology we allow into our lives—is it for better or worse? This life is short; we cannot afford to make big mistakes over and over again about how we spend our time—and what we allow into our time.
This has really been getting to me lately. I have been feeling increasingly “oppressed” by things from without—bombarded by technology, media, voices, sounds. Do you ever want to scream? Is it ever too much? I think it ought to be. Honestly, sometimes I get to the point where I can’t even hear myself think. When I notice this, I usually don’t even have words that enable me to express the feelings—only some sort of exclamation; “what the hell!” or something like that. “Shut up already!!”
I come to find, however, that I am the one who is most at fault, for I have not fought for silence. We must do battle with the noise and business. It is not an easy battle. There must be losses, sacrifices made. I went to Africa for six months and decided not to bring any music. This did not mean I heard no noise or music—only that I listened to it a lot less. A whole lot less. Life was much quieter…and I think that added to the richness.
The silence and solitude added to the depth of things learned because life was slower and the increased quiet helped me process, dig, discover, reflect, consider. Dare I say that it is easier to hear God when we are quiet? Something happens when we allow so much into our time. Too many distractions make learning unnecessarily difficult—or, perhaps, hinder it altogether. I am not at all saying that noise and business (or “music”) keeps us from growing, though there is much truth in this, I think. I am saying that we must guard our quiet space.
I remember tearing out a phrase from a magazine once that caught my eye: “a tribute to the quiet place.” Sometimes I ache for the quiet place. I long for it. Do you? But then we cannot get there, because we have entangled ourselves with the noise and business of this life. In desperation, we might try to run there. But we usually trip and fall—oops, forgot about that. I cannot seem to get rid of the sounds. And again, we are distracted.
Ah, time to step back. Time to grab some scissors. Praying for discernment, let’s go mad with the scissors—cutting these entangling distractions that tie us down.

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls.” -Mother Teresa

"We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship." -C.S. Lewis