Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
The event will be held at the Artist Central Exchange located at 4866 N. Clark St. in Andersonville. The gallery will open Friday, April 15th at 6pm, and will continue Saturday, April 16th from 11-5pm. Tickets will be $15 Friday night and suggested donation of $10 on Saturday.
The objective of Prints of Peace is to create awareness that, as consumers of visual media, we can choose to interact with it responsibly and in a way that reflects the better parts of humanity. Mediums will involve storytelling through the photography and videography of IGVP members as well as local Chicago artists. The proceeds for the event will be split between the photographer(s) and IGVP. Check out www.the-prop.org to RSVP and for further information or email email@example.com.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
I'm only going to include my answers to the 3rd Q. I guess all of them are pretty personal but I want to include that last Q for the sake of celebrating the influence of these people as well as for the sake of challenging you all to consider the people who have helped "make you." Lately I've been reminded how we're shaped by relationship(s). While in Africa I heard the phrase, "Everyone I ever meet has something to teach me." I've always found it rather fascinating how lives intersect. The crossing of stories is part of the gift of life, not something I want to take for granted.
So, people who have shaped my life (not limited to but including):
Papa--taught me that I don't have to be loud and outspoken or constantly "verbal" to be someone, to stand for something, to have value and/or be valued.
Mrs. Monroe (High School teacher)--through creative writing and the study of literature, taught me not to be afraid of making something of myself; to be properly proud of who I am (and am becoming).
Mrs. O'Hair (High School teacher, mentor)--taught me that failure doesn't change who I am or what God thinks of me. She taught me boldness, courage, and honesty.
Paco (a "missionary grandpa")--taught me of God's pleasure in and over me (and each one of us). Encouraged me to pursue my dreams and passions with God.
Dr. Sundahl (Hillsdale Prof.)--taught me to learn to laugh at myself and at life; to not be afraid of being who I am or of doing what I choose to do and pursue. Helped me live and experience freedom in life (and to approach life with a twinkle in my eye :)).
Dr. de Rosset (Moody Prof.)--taught me boldness and confidence; to "lighten up" and enjoy life and not take it all so serious. She taught me to not apologize for my gifts and talents but to use them (and develop them). Encouraged me to "be real" and to speak truth.
Mr. Howard (Moody Prof.)--taught me of the goodness of God and how understanding it forever changes our relationship with Him. Taught me about the pathos of God; how to humbly and truly fall in love with the God of Scripture not Scripture as book; to pursue and live dynamic relationship with God.
Dr. Schmutzer (Moody Prof., mentor)--taught me to learn/know self (strengths/weaknesses) and not apologize for who I am and am becoming; the integration of biblical/theological study and the realities of a broken world. Encouraged me to embrace my abilities and capabilities and to use them for God and world. Taught me confidence, boldness, honesty, empathy, self-care and rest. Helped me understand and explore the suffering of God and the impact this has on God's relationship with/to the world. Encouraged me to be a life-long learner; helped me study well and study for the sake of living not merely for the sake of knowledge.
This Lent I'm finding and entrusting parts of my life that need to remember the gifts and promises of God. One such gift and promise is relationship. Something we easily take for granted and begin to feel entitled to...
There is a bouquet of brightly colored tulips singing spring from our kitchen table, a gift from mom and dad. They're lovely. I've never received flowers in a box before. That's the stuff of movies :)
In follow up to the squirrel story.
It has stopped scratching. Last Mariah hear of it yesterday was whimpering and "crying." Ok, that makes me a little sad. And now it's probably dead which means it will rot which means our room will smell...just lovely.
Yesterday I was telling the story to C and S during snack time. You know, the whole bit...about the scratching and the suspected squirrel and the fear that it might get in. C looked at me with nothing but sincere concern and said "poor squirrel." POOR SQUIRREL?! "C, it keeps us up at night trying to get in. Don't you understand?!" "But Andrea, it's stuck." Sigh. He's right. I think it hit too close to home because Sammy, the squirrel that lives in the tree out back, right where C can spot him and watch him play, is "gone" for the winter. Gone with his whole family.
"Where did Sammy go," I asked. Hardly a pause, "To Africa. Where it's warm." I couldn't even hold back the laugh. "Oh. Africa. That's really far away. Did he go with anyone?" "Yes, his whole family." So there you have it--Sammy is in Africa for awhile. Wish I could join him! For now one of his distant relatives is beginning to rot in our wall. Just great...
I've been learning about power and allegiance as I think about ways in which I live as if I'm entitled to things. We live our lives with such distracted allegiance, don't we? We struggle to know where to put our trust and where to invest our hope. We search for places of power--power to be (over others) or powers to succumb and surrender to. Ultimately, I think we do want to find something to give our lives to. The slow-dying that we sign up for in life with Christ means a journey to newness. It's a journey of surrendering power and aligning (realigning) our allegiance to the one in whose presence we find ourselves most alive. Lord, reset our twisted perspectives that look for power-plays and hope in harmful allegiances.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Anyhow, I'm tired. Not a sleepy tired just a worn-out tired. Dare I go to bed at 9:30? Have I told you about the animal that is trapped in our wall making a hell of a lot of noise at night (excuse my word choice if you must, but i'm getting awfully frustrated with the little sucker). It's been waking us up multiple times a night. I woke up from a "nightmare" the other night that involved a crazed squirrel that had finally dug it's way out of the wall and into our room, running around in a starved frenzy with wild eyes and barred teeth. Seriously. Please no. Hoping and praying that all it's scratching and digging will be for naught. The whole thing is equal amounts frustrating and humorous, I suppose. How did this animal get stuck in our wall and what on earth is it trying to do at all hours of the day (and night)?!! Give it a rest, our four-legged friend!
So, this year I am giving up thinking and living in terms of "Rights and Entitlements," instead living to recognize things as Gift, Promise, and Privilege. It's sort of the product of a lot of thought about what it means to trust God and what it means to believe in His nearness--two "themes," if you will, that have been constant for me of late. What does it mean to trust more in God's faithfulness, love, and provision than in my ability to determine, figure out, and control? What does it mean to have those hard conversations with God about the difficulty of handing over to Him (consistently) and surrendering, entrusting, and believing that He's big enough and good enough to have a better handle on things (he's trustworthy, in other words). What does it mean to see God's work in my life and in the world as a work that is close? Scripture is not shy about telling God's story as one in which He is near--a traveling presence. He pilgrimed with Israel out of slavery into wilderness and guided to the Promised Land. He set up camp in their midst. He presenced himself with them. So goes the story...and then He sends himself into the story, right into it. Human. God-man. To be with us, God with us. And lives a life that's a part of ours--facing the realities of human life and learning: temptation, love, sorrow, beauty, desire, difficulty...When he leaves he gives an extraordinary gift: his very Spirit, to live in us. There are, it seems, profound patterns of committed nearness.
It can be uncomfortable to think of God as one who is near. A God who is near means a God who knows. He knows our dirt and our mess; our beauty and our unique wonder. He lives with us deep deep down, acknowledging a value and worth that undercut all of the outward expressions of "who we are." And when we realize we are so exposed in the journey, I suppose we necessarily feel a little embarrassed, uncertain, and uncomfortable. A God who is near and a God who knows means that we have to wonder if he actually loves and accepts what he lives with and sees of us. This takes trusting him to a whole new level and reliance to a new depth. This is what I hope to dwell on for lent--God near my mess; God in my need; God loving my brokenness; God mending, healing, renewing, tearing apart, putting back together...God on the journey with me. So the things that I often falsely consider to be my rights and entitlements (anything and everything, really: achievements, accomplishments, understanding, knowledge, revelation, faith, belief, love...the things that I can begin to feel like I come up with...) can be seen and understood as gifts and promises (the "product" of God at work in my life--my mess--accomplishing something deeper and longer lasting; God worthy of trust because He's committed to a larger picture than the one I'm committed to but he's patient enough to help me get there. He journeys with. He offers gifts and remembers promises. He cares for us as we work to control what we think we understand..). He stepped into our mess for a reason. He's in the business of redemption and reconciliation--making all things new. That's the freedom and hope that is "Gospel." Free from the entanglements of sin and it's web-like trap that offers a lot but follows through with little. The hope and freedom that are our life in God recognize the gifts of relationship, love, and committed faithfulness. They offer a courage and strength for living our imperfections in liberating ways (toward health and wholeness) not in ways that discourage true life and growth.
What will all of this look like, for Lent? Well, I'm not 100% certain, of course. It will be daily, that's for sure. Daily work to face the temptation of wanting to recognize my life as my own. It will require daily reminders of God's promises, His workings in/through history, and His goodness that is sometimes hard to understand. It will demand that I consider new ways of trusting God's provision--believing that He bestows and privileges us in ways we don't always expect or understand, but they are gift. This feels a little like an experiment and I don't really know how it will go. I'll keep you posted as I journey. I like the journey-feel of Lent...the feeling of "travel." How are you traveling this Lenten season? What are you considering, wrestling, hoping?
Finally I'll just post this prayer in consideration of today, Ash Wednesday, and the journey ahead...
Marked by Ashes (Walter Brueggemann)
Ruler of the Night, Guarantor of the day . . .
This day — a gift from you.
This day — like none other you have ever given, or we have ever received.
This Wednesday dazzles us with gift and newness and possibility.
This Wednesday burdens us with the tasks of the day, for we are already halfway home
halfway back to committees and memos,
halfway back to calls and appointments,
halfway on to next Sunday,
halfway back, half frazzled, half expectant,
half turned toward you, half rather not.
This Wednesday is a long way from Ash Wednesday,
but all our Wednesdays are marked by ashes —
we begin this day with that taste of ash in our mouth:
of failed hope and broken promises,
of forgotten children and frightened women,
we ourselves are ashes to ashes, dust to dust;
we can taste our mortality as we roll the ash around on our tongues.
We are able to ponder our ashness with
some confidence, only because our every Wednesday of ashes
anticipates your Easter victory over that dry, flaky taste of death.
On this Wednesday, we submit our ashen way to you —
your Easter parade of newness.
Before the sun sets, take our Wednesday and Easter us,
Easter us to joy and energy and courage and freedom;
Easter us that we may be fearless for your truth.
Come here and Easter our Wednesday with
mercy and justice and peace and generosity.
We pray as we wait for the Risen One who comes soon
Monday, March 07, 2011
oh, and I pierced Lacy's ears a second time--yeayuh! what are friends for?! she trusts me, that's for sure :)