Rosalie Grace Carlson is one of my dearest friends. She is very far away right now and I miss her terribly. Perhaps you can relate to this, perhaps not, but I am starting to think that the best friends are those who are enough like you to force you to face yourself, and at the same time different enough to give you a better view of God than you had before. One of the things Rosie and I agreed on was this: It is none of your beeswax to try and change anyone based on your own feelings, resentments, or wishes. For one thing, it is impossible. For another, the minute you depart from God's Word and start trying to change someone because something about them bugs you, you have ceased to pay attention to God's work in yourself. Don't get me wrong, I am NOT saying we should not confront and encourage one another to seek God better, only that we must do it based on God's Word and through his grace and leading. I fail at that. When I take my eyes off of God and what he is doing in my heart, and look at what I think he should be doing with the kid sitting next to me, I am no longer within my own beeswax. My mother tells me nearly every day "Mind your own!" Today I realized that doing that does not only make life easier for others and me less of a pain, it frees me to live for an audience of One. Which equals loving Him more, which equals loving people as He would, which means another paradox. Living solely to conform myself to God shows Him to others, in far clearer ways than my own strength ever could.
P.S. Please critique. I don't mind, really I don't. I won't sue you. Good grief, that sounds so American. But then, if the shoe fits.....I always think of Lucy from the Peanuts when I say Good grief. now i'm really rambling and my punctuation has flushed itself as a result. keep your noses clean. (that means behave yourselves.)
I love copy and paste. Highlight, push two buttons, leave it as long as you want, and when you have a blank spot to fill from cyberspace, hit two more buttons, and up pop the little black letters or whatever, fresh as lemons. I wish life was like that. I wish I could just paste over my mistakes, change my heart as easily as I change that page. It doesn't work that way, though. Life is more like the way my dad used to have to white-out on a real typewriter. Stick the little strip in, go back to where you were, hit each button again, till the powder covers up what you did. Or, more realistically, since yesterday is far away (Yes I know the line is "yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away" but I don't care if Lennon turns in his grave.) more realistically, the mistakes still stare at me from the messy pages, and I am forced to realize again that only God can make the words that follow worth the typos.
P.S. In case you haven't looked out the window today, it's snowing. Just a bit. And even though I know long cold winter follows, I still run to the window.
So. I am not old enough to vote. I will miss it by a month. But I have this to say, for better or worse, to all of you who can: Before you vote, think for yourself. Don't buy into everything you see on TV, hear on the radio, or see on a poll. When you watch or listen to the news, you are seeing only what they want you to see. They choose every picture and video clip that's shown, every word they say, and everything you don't see, which is, I think, more important. Don't rely on what a politician says, look at what they do, what they vote for. Think through what they propose to do with your country. Their intentions may be good, but what are the consequences of their actions? One last thing, with which you may or may not agree, but think about it anyway. Do they protect the unborn? I know that's cliche, but if they don't, then what makes you think they'll protect you? There is very little separating you from helplessness, and that little should make you stand up for those who are.
So I think I shall write down my reaction to the DG conference before it disappears. Or rather my paraphrase of it. I don't take notes well because it ends up being my own opinion. Anyhoo, here goes. The entire conference was on the power of words and the wonder of God. Lovely. .. Bob Kauflin: What Happens When We Sing? What happens when we sing is that our hearts are awakened. Music is a heavenly thing. It existed in heaven before the world was made. The angels worship God with music. It has great power, but like all influential things, it can be misused. When we put music to words to worship God, it moves our affections powerfully. The purpose of worship is not necessarily to play the most progressive, avant-garde or "hip" music possible, it is to direct your heart to love God more. That's not to say that it should not be relevant, or artistic or beautiful, but it is not just music for music's sake. With regard to music written by Christians that is not for corporate worship, the sky's the limit. Oh and probably the Bible too. :)
Mark Driscoll: Arresting Attention If you have never heard Mark Driscoll, I will only tell you one thing. He is not a comfortable preacher. He'll offend you a bit. Or a lot. However, there is a biblical way to offend people, and that is partly what he did. He pointed out that Jesus was offensive. Jesus lambasted hypocrites. He despised deception. This was not for his own amusement, but so that his sheep would see their foolishness and not catch the disease. There is a place for strong language, for sharp humor and in-your face truth. The world has plenty of nice, easy-to-swallow religions, but Christianity is not one of them. We worship a homeless guy who was murdered. That is slightly offensive and weird to most people. His session was so packed that I would just recommend you get it off the DG website and listen to it. Here's my favorite quote: "People have taken the fun out of fundamentalism. "
Daniel Taylor: Grace and Story Stories are what we interpret our lives through. I'm sure you can remember vividly the stories you read as a little kid. Stories imput either truth or falsehood. They are never neutral. Kids today are story-deprived. Instead of A Christmas Carol , they get Dora the Explorer. If you like Dora, I'm sorry. I don't. All humans need a story to live in, and we are happiest when we are not the center character, but are important and insignificant at the same time. Figure that out.
Dinner break came about here, and I have to tell some small random bits that were excellent. My family went to Brit's Pub on Nicollet for a nibble. We took Heidi Brinkmann and Mr. Horn, and I have to tell you that Brit's Pub serves the best calamari I have ever eaten. Downright heavenly with a little humorous fellowship. As we walked back on Nicollet, we saw this great blob of white ahead of us. Someone had put detergent in a fountain, and the snowy white suds were all over the sidewalk and street. Yes, we had a foam fight. I wish I had pictures. But my favorite was when we got back, and walked in as the singing was starting. As I listened to those thousands of people singing together, I had a small glimpse of heaven, of every tribe and people and tongue on earth, from all of history, singing. Paul Tripp: The God Who Speaks God spoke the first words, and we are like him in that we also speak or communicate in some way. Words have great power and great consequences. They can kill or give life. On this earth, your words have a beginning and an end. You spoke your first words, and at some point, your words here will cease. Who will rule them? What effect will they have? Another quote: "There is nothing that comes out of the mouth of a drunk that wasn't there in the first place."
John Piper: The Language Nobody Knows (this was Sunday morning) Can you be eloquent for God's glory? Or does skill with words just eclipse the truth? He compared the speaking styles of George Whitfield and Jonathan Edwards as an example. Whitfield was so skilled with words and so pleasant to listen to that a man once said he just enjoyed listening to him, and cared nothing for what he was actually saying. That is a fearful thing, to be preaching the gospel and be so eloquent that you lose God in your words. I did not get to hear the end of this one, but my family tells me Piper ended by saying that yes, you could use eloquence in a good way, in fact, that it could be of great use to faith, though it should never be an end in itself. Quote: ( this isn't Piper's, but he mentioned it and I forget whose it was.) "No one can give the impression that he himself is clever and that Christ is mighty to save."
I was at home, ironing my shirt for work (one thing I will miss about being a hostess: wearing regularish clothes. But waitressing pays so much better.) and listening to my ipod, and Be Thou My Vision was playing. In case you didn't know, that's a really old Irish hymn, and one of my favorites. All of a sudden I remembered lying on very green grass in front of a Northern Irish castle, singing that song with people who are very dear to me, even though I don't see them much. I really think we put too much on that. As somebody once said "Friendship isn't about being inseparable, it's about being apart, and nothing changes" Sorry Jules, I stole that from you. Anyhow, if you were there you know who you are. It was the perfect place and time and circumstances to be singing that lovely song. I cannot describe Northern Ireland to you, except to say that every picture you've ever seen of that country is completely inadequate. So yes. There's my reminiscing for the day.
I'm right-brained. I like to write. At the moment, I'm in London for a semester of study. There will be pictures. There will also be the random spurtings of brain juice.
I also have a blog with my design work, here
and an image pile, a.k.a. a Tumblr, here