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Archive for August, 2009

I’m so sorry I haven’t posted as frequently as I’d like.  Things have been busy around here.  I’ve been busy packing, which is taking a lot longer than I had originally anticipated.  First, I was worried that I would not have enough room to put my things into the suitcases.  I found that I was able to pack them in pretty well, but another problem arose: the weight restriction.  After shifting, weighing, reshifting, and debating what things I would leave behind, I had decided that I would send myself the books I wanted with me through USPS Media Mail.  That is, I had decided that until my mother came home.  She worried about the price of sending a package of the size and weight that I had.  After a long and irritating debate over price and convenience, we decided that we would take another suitcase (I am allowed to take 2 on my flight without charge, and her baggage check-in would be $15) and go to Andover Newton from the Logan Airport in Boston by cab.   Tomorrow, I have another bag to pack.

I had a minor freakout earlier about the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority), also known as the “T.”  I realized that the deadline for the discounted semester Link Pass had already passed me unawares.  By a long shot, I might add.  It was due August 5th.  Not wanting to miss out on the 11% discount, I emailed the Housing Director at Andover Newton to see if I could get it still.  Turns out, all the stress was for nothing.  ANTS was not able to get enough people who were interested in it to be able to get the discounted passes for this fall semester.  haha.  Well, I guess at least I can say is that I’m grateful for friends (or in this case, a particular friend) who are able to calm me down when I’m stressed.

I have a busy day tomorrow.  Meeting a college friend for lunch, setting up a CD account at a bank, having dinner with an old friend, and then hanging out with the friend who’s coming back from the east-coast late evening tomorrow.  And finding time to pack somewhere in between.  Oh goodness.

Oh, yes, I was also my father’s birthday today.  🙂   He and I went to Wal-mart.  Then to Bargain Books.  I got 2 DVDs on sale: Munich and A History of Violence.  I was happy about that.

Life is good even if it is stressful.  And God is good whether or not life is stressful.  🙂

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Rick and Bubba’s Guide to the Almost Nearly Perfect Marriage by Rick Burgess and Bill “Bubba” Bussey

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As someone who is not married or even considering marriage, I picked this book up just for a few laughs. The title and cover speaks for itself: it is meant to be a humorous “guide” to marriage. The book is broken down into short chapters. The authors go through different life situations that spouses would potentially face in their marriage while keeping in mind that no marriage is perfect. There some are things in the book that are exaggerated, and the differences between men and women are perhaps overstated. They make both sexes seem a bit two-dimensional, which was a bit irritating at times. Perhaps the merit of the book comes in the fact that they make marriage seem ordinary, even tedious at times. As “special” of a union as marriage may be, it needs hard work to keep it healthy — as anything else that is important in life. Keeping a sense of humor helps once marriage loses the charm of the “honeymoon” stage and things become routine. Overall, I would say that the book wasn’t hysterical, but it was good for a few chuckles.

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scambling here and there

My father’s birthday is around the corner. YAY!!! I love him. 🙂 We’re going to be having a cookout for him, and hopefully, a few people will be able to make it. For me, this means that I will be helping my mother prepare food this Sunday. It also means that I have had to do some house cleaning. Unfortunately, this inevitably results in the need to sort through my things and start the packing process. It’s amazing how many things you begin to accumulate after 4 years of being away from home. And trying to put your life into 2 suitcases and a carry-on is more of a challenge than I expected. When you consider that I need a comforter, sheets, and pillow, my winter coat, a laundry hamper, hangers… it just goes on and on. But, in about a week, I’ll be in Boston. Crazy.

Sorry for not having posted much. In truth, not too much excitement has been going on except for the removal of my wisdom teeth. But that’s not fun excitement. As good as it is to be home, I am anxious to be elsewhere. I find that I have become increasingly unmotivated by not having anything that I need to do. I think my highlights of being home — believe it or not — has been church. They have both Wednesday night and Sunday morning services, and it has been a type of refuge for me. It’s given me a source of refreshment that would otherwise be missing from my life. And I’ve gotten to meet a couple of people and that’s never bad as well. 🙂

I’m just thankful that no matter what situation we are in and no matter how we feel, God still finds ways to speak to us.

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Sometimes, Scripture just speaks much louder than anything I have to say. Sometimes, it is good to consider the concept of “grace,” and think of it beyond merely unmerited favor, mercy, or forgiveness. It is all of that, but so much more. Grace speaks of power, it speaks of transformation. It is not about us “being better people” through effort. It is the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, coming to live in us and through us. He lives, he moves, he acts through us when we let him.

“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead” – Philippians 3:7-11

As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit living inside us. But we do not always live by that Spirit. To be ruled by him requires persistent humility in recognizing that we are not God… but he is. And he is more than enough.

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I get my wisdom teeth removed tomorrow morning. I am not looking forward to it much, but I would like it done sooner rather than later. Oh sigh.

I feel a bit out of sorts lately. I’m not quite sure why. It’s strange, a feeling of a slowness tinged with loneliness. It makes me a bit anxious… or restless. For what, I am not sure. It’s a little disconcerting at times, and the truth is that I want to want God more. I want to desire him greatly at all times. The reality is that I often don’t even when I wish to. Even knowing that nothing else will satisfy, I do still pursue those other things. But… the fact that I feel some sort of desire for a passion for him it is something. Maybe it counts for a whole lot more than I give it credit for. At least I have some sense of direction, and I know that direction is true and reliable.

How does something seem so near and far at the same time? It doesn’t make much sense. But I hope… I wait upon him and upon his Spirit.

“A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” ( For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
– John 4:7-15

“After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
– John 6:66-69

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I am back home again. Currently, I’m in the process of sifting through my things, putting some stuff into bags for Goodwill. 3 bags so far and more to go. Gosh, I think I come from a family of packrats. We have so many trinkets and stuff we never use that’s cluttering up the house. My room still looks like chaos since I have not been able to put things away (the closet has been taken over by my mother’s things). I guess that’s what happens when you go off to college for four years. 😛

On a new and exciting note, I was able to register for classes today. They include:

:: M.A. Colloquium
:: Spirituality, Seminary and You: Spiritual Formation
:: Introduction to Scripture I
:: Introduction to the History of Christianity I

Additionally, I plan to register to a Harvard Divinity School course called Religious Dimensions in Human Experience. I’m excited and nervous and wondering how I will like the community.

On a new but not-so-exciting note, I will be getting my wisdom teeth taken out soon. I am not thrilled about it, but it’s just one of those things that will have to happen. It’s one of the reasons I came home early. I guess it means that I’ll look like a chipmunk for a few days after I get it taken out. On the bright side… maybe it’s a good excuse to eat excessive amounts of ice cream?? 🙂

I feel like I should say something new and innovative. But I have nothing. All I have is the thought that occupied me while cleaning the house: My God will never leave me nor forsake me. This is true no matter who else comes in or goes out of my life. This is true no matter what life throws at me. This is true no matter how often or not I fail and succeed. Knowing that is like a breath of relief. It has a way of realigning things. As important as those other things are in who I am, my relationship with him will always be more important. It puts who I am in him above all other things, and this is strangely comforting and terrifying at the same time.

“No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.” – Joshua 1:5

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” – 2 Corinthians 4:7-10

“Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?'” – Hebrews 13:1-6

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