The Body

Let me tell you what I’ve been thinking about for the past 4 months (obviously I haven’t been writing about it). I’ve been thinking about the body. Not my body or your body, but the Body of Christ. Who we are, why we exist and how we could/should go about existing together. I’ve been thinking about what it means to be the body in the context of the church and how they are one in the same. Recently I’ve picked up a few books that have challenged my view of The Body/The Church and they are: Pagan Christianity, Reimagining Church & Organic Church.

I haven’t been sharing my views on this blog because they are kind of out-of-the-box and a tad scandalous, being that I am a community group (aka small group) leader in my church. This is why I haven’t been writing.

I’m going to be honest: I believe church is done wrong. I think the church should not be composed of a lofty budget, staff members, and a center stage. These are my thoughts without going into incredible amounts of detail. If you have questions and want to talk to me because you know me personally, feel free. As for now, hopefully, I will move my thoughts in a direction that is more open/sharable and bloggable.

My Hot Object

It’s black and silver with a small red rectangle on the side. The top of the black object has a silver round circle that can be pressed to release a silver blade with a cut out squiggly line. It’s my key.

My key is my hot object. My key represents my green Jetta parked in front of my apartment. It’s more than just my method of transportation. To me it represents God’s providence and care for my life. I went on a trip two summers ago that I did not want to go on, but I felt called to go. I did not have enough money for a car when I left, but I was promised that I would receive a car with every option I wanted, with so many gadgets I wouldn’t know what to do with them all when I returned. When I came back from the trip, I landed on my car – it has blue and red interior lights, a smooth drive and heated seats.

When I get behind the wheel and thank God for my day, I can’t help but remember the special attention and love I have been given from God. I know I’m no different from you. That’s my hot object.

(The idea of the hot object is from Season 1, Episode 2 of Felicity. When I started writing, Ben couldn’t think of an object, so I started thinking about what mind would be. I finished writing and Ben went to his class with his object. Ironically, it was also a key.)

Also crazy side note: I just found out that Zack, otherwise known as the “pink guy” is Devon Gummersall, who also played Brian Krakow in My So-Called Life. I can’t believe I never caught that.

Blogging: Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

I have almost succeeded in dropping off the face of the blogging world. I’ve been a blogger for about 4 years.

I used to blog very consistenly in college about topics such as: spirituality, day-to-day human observation and whatever other ridiculous thoughts I had running through my brain. Siince then blogging has been on and off depending on how much time I’ve had. I’ve recently found that there have been several consequences I’ve faced simply because I’ve put blogging on the backseat. Here are a few:

1. My writing/speaking skills have dropped off a bit. Because I haven’t been practicing writing especially, I feel like I’ve lost my touch. Writing is something I really enjoy and value as medium of communication and I want to continue to practice and improve my skills.

2. I am not fulling expressing my thoughts and sharing my life experiences in a public way. I like sharing insights I’ve gained through my experiences. I appreciate feedback I receive in comment form. I think there is value in helping eachother on our life journeys and reading/listening to eachother’s stories. We are, in fact, in this life together. It’s best if we try to live that way.

3. A combo of 1 & 2: I really like blogging, probably because I really like writing. It encourages me to entertain intelligent thinking. It’s my outlet.

So hopefully, here I go, I will begin again. I will try to blog regularly, hopefully shooting for a couple times a week. Readers welcome, opinions/comments appreciated. Thanks for reading.

Free dates, shaven legs: advantages & disadvantages to being a woman

I had a conversation yesterday with a couple esteemed male friends about the advantages and disadvantages to being a woman. Here’s what we came up:

Being a woman means
+ free dates, and no pressure dating. Woman don’t have to do any of the asking.
+ being treated like a lady. Men open our doors, give us first dibs on stuff, tell us we’re beautiful – you get the idea.
+less hair on our body. Apparently the guys thought this was an advantage. I’m not a guy, so I’m going to trust them on this one.

It also means

-it is assumed that we are automatically less athletic than any man. Reactions (directed at me, personally in the past 10 months) include
“we can’t have two girls next to each other (on the volleyball court)”
“Pheww, thank God the woman are separated…we can’t have two women on the SAME team”
::sees that I’m on his team and lets out a strangled moan::
-we have to shave our legs, armpits, and it is unacceptable to have hair anywhere on our face besides our eyebrows. This takes work.
-we are more catty with other women. We judge each other, we gossip about each other, we are easily jealous and oftentimes we straight up hate each other for stupid reasons.
-career-wise, we have to deal with the glass ceiling

I think the biggest disadvantage is our relationships with other women. It’s not uncommon for us to treat each other badly. I have to say it comes from our own insecurities about our looks, personality and our worth. Gossiping and judging are our tools for tearing each other down, but at the end of the day, we’re still stuck with our own body and our own fears to stare us in the face. And as a result, since we’ve been skeptical of everyone else, we apply those judgments to ourselves. We know that we aren’t perfect either and so we start to hate ourselves. Our lives become about who has the tightest stomach and the best nose. If we can start to understand and accept other women as beautiful, we will care less about the ways we judged ourselves because we will set a new standard.

Women, don’t get wrapped up in things that don’t matter. Let’s learn to love each other and lift each other up and we can create a whole new perspective on beauty and our own self-worth, that is not be based on looks.

Let’s clean up this spirituality mess!

I hate the word “messy”. It bothers me. I like things to be neat & tidy, easy to fix & change. More and more I’m finding that so many things need to be talked out, organized, revamped, prodded & challenged within our own perspectives for practical, concrete changes to be made.

I like the way some things are easy to change. You can change your clothes, clean your room, organize a filing cabinet, or go grocery shopping. All these things can be done in one stride – finished – ready to run with, changed for the better. On the other hand, people can’t be changed in a stride. Our thoughts, motives, understanding, and even our own movement takes time, energy, sometimes pain & with small steps towards healing. To me this seems impractical, frustrating & time consuming, but people are complicated and need to hash out their moves.

This week at Penn State, we had a “God…why?” event where we talked about answers God might give to important life questions such as “What is my purpose?”, “What does God think about sex”, “How do I communicate with God/how does He communicate with me?”. When we finished the discussion, we had everyone to fill out a feedback form. Many students indicated on the form that they would like to pursue a closer relationship with God, and are interested in joining a study to know more about him through the person of Jesus.

It reminded me of how our spiritual journey – being transformed by God – is so much different than other things we can change about ourselves. If I want to become a basketball player, I can just sign up and join a team – BAM – I’m a basketball player. If I want to become an artist – I join an art class and start practicing my artform – BAM – I’m an artist.

If I want to pursue a relationship with God, I can go to Bible study, I can go to church, but it’s more than that. Something about my heart, the way I live, my passions, my desires – all change, they become transformed. I can’t tell if you’ve been transformed. I can’t change you. I can only encourage you, invite you, challenge you – but I can’t make you a person who can communicate with God, know his desires, or understand his heart. It’s something you need to throw on yourself. As much as spirituality is communal, it has to be individualized or it doesn’t really exist. It starts inside of us and I can’t light your fire.

Woes of City #2

My car got broken into again. I wasn’t going to post about this at first, but there are some striking similiarities between the two incidents…some of it seems kinda creepy, some it makes more sense.

Both times:
1. I was sick for two days and missed work.
2. I parked in almost the same parking spot.
3. I walked out to my car with dirty laundry in hand.
4. I did not have to go to work until later that day when I walked out to my car.
5. I walked out to my car with Megan.
6. It was a beautiful day when I discover my car, but it precipitated within 24 hours (while I  have no window).
6. The first time I went home to exchange my car after it  happened, my little sister tried to sell me her volleyball teams sweat pants, the second time, I went home my sister showed me her new team sweat pants that she happened to be wearing, and asked me if I wanted to buy a pair again.

I get more frustrated that my car is not safe regardless of what’s in it…maybe they will start breaking the window for the fun of it.

This time they stole my stereo. My iPod was in my center console and when they hopped in to rip out my stero, they threw back the center console and my iPod flew in the back seat, so they missed it, suckers.   I do plan on changing where I park for now,  but there is nothing left for them to take. I will start carrying my iPod around so they can’t take it if they do break in again.

I will say, it’s almost refreshing having these material possessions ripped from me.  As much as I liked them, they weren’t really necessary. I will do just fine with my factorytape deck…and just as well with Mapquest…ok that’s a lie – Mapquest sucks..

The woes of the city

Today I walked out to my car and found my window busted in, with glass shattered across my two front seats. My glove compartment was wide open, and surprise, my GPS was gone.

I admit that I’m a person that trusts people a lot and can sometimes be unaware of lurking danger. Until it happens to me, I can be pretty oblivious. Part of that is because it’s hard for to understand why people do awful things until I see it done…so I try to pretend it doesn’t really happen (lots of these things are way more awful then my car or GPS).

Tonight I got back from my parents house and I was walking to my apartment and I just felt really unsafe all of a sudden. Every other night, I would just walk back to my car thinking that it was a beautiful night and singing the last song played on my stereo. Tonight, I was convinced that someone was going to jump me, and I started thinking about what I was carrying and how much it would suck to replace it when I got robbed.

I can understand where stereotypes start about the city. It starts with a break in.