Saturday, April 29, 2006

Graeme Goldsworthy

So when I look back on my univeristy days, I feel distinctly blessed by the presence of two guys from my church who taught me more than they realize. One of them is my pastor Brian Kay, and the other is a guy named Garret Hamner. Garret was so patient with me, all my questions and doubts. But really, he taught me so much and opened my eyes to the world of theology. He gave me a book called Gospel and Kingdom by Graeme Goldsworthy that offers an explanation of Biblical theology. I LOVED IT. I still to this day see Bibilical theology as one of the most solid and Biblically founded theological systems (funny to call it a system when it is a far cousin to systematic theology, but for lack of a better term) that I have ever come across. Anyways, as some of you know, I have recently been looking at seminaries to apply to. In my search, I remembered how much respect I hold for Goldsworthy, and I looked up where he went to school and he happens to be from Austailia. Now this is how much I value this man's work: I actually added the seminary he is from to my list of possible schools to pray over.
So why am I writing this? Well, last night at our youth bible study I started talking to this guy who came to Chile from Austailia to teach at a new seminary here with the Anglican church. SO basically I forced him into a conversation about all my favorite topics: infant baptism, the history of the Anglican church and of course, dispensationalism. As we were talking about dispensationalism and the theological horror of it, the conversation progressed as so:
"Rebecca there is a book I have that I think you would enjoy reading" (this is like music to my ears!)
"Really? I love to read. Which book is it?"
"It is called Gospel and Kingdom"
"By Goldsworthy?" (at this point I was getting really excited and looked more like a little kid in a candy shop than a grown woman at a bible study)
"Yeah, you've heard of him?" (basically no one from the states reads him, I guess)
" oh my gosh! I LOVE THAT MAN!!!"
And it was at this point that all the little high schoolers who come to the bible study had gathered around us trying to figure out what the two foriegners were talking about that was so exciting.
Anyways, it turns out that this seminary teacher here in CHile actually studied under Goldsworthy! And he was explaining that Biblical theology is the foundation of all their courses. I was just about peeing my pants! I feel just way too blessed here. I mean, this opens up a whole world of possibilities here. I have been thinking that I should wait to go to seminary until I have paid back all my loans. With the budget I worked out, that means in about 25 to 30 months. Sooo... in the mean time, and who knows that will happen, I can stay here in this amazing country and possibly go to seminary here. Yes, the classes will be in Spanish, BUT all the teachers are from Austrailia!
Funny note: I used to babysit for my pastor on one condition: that after his daughter went to sleep, I could have full use of his library. What a deal! Those books are so much more valuable than money down here. SO I extended the same offer to this guy. I will babysit, basically whenever, even Saturdays, IF I get to use his library. I am so excited to finish the other two books in the Goldsworthy Trilogy!!!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

My roommate Sebastian


Sebastian, este es para ti, porque me molestaste que tenia fotos de ti en mi blog. Entonces, voy a poner mas y mas. ¿Cachai? Que buena una companera de casa soy! Pero, oye, cuando comenzas a escribir tu blog, no puedes poner que quieres. Jejeje.

This is my roommate Sebastian who decided (against the wishes of Ashlee and I) to ride his bike to Argentina. Which is amamzing enough in itself, but the ride to Argentina is THROUGH THE ANDES!!! It takes about 7 hours on a bus, so you can imagine how long it took them to go through the freezing Andes! This picture was taken on the road to Mendoza, Argentina. Crazy huhh?

Watch out, I might step on your toes!

I have been reading this book, Generous Orthodoxy (McLaren), which basically argues that we should stoptrying to fight for our one right orthodoxy and admit that most if not all orthodoxies within the Christian relm have some significance. A large part of the book is composed of chapters which each embrace a different part of view of Christianity. He discusses Eastern Orthodox's mysticism, Catholic's traditions, and Protestant's fight for the Truth. He never says that one is more correct or Orthodox than another. Anyways, I have been seeing the effects of this book in my life. I disagree with practically EVERYTHING this man says, but I was thinking about my feelings toward other religions. It has long been since I stood for the belief that someone might be in the Catholic Church and really be saved (sadly many people don't agree with this). In the same way, i think there are many who go to a nice little church on sunday, they sing the nice little songs, and they pray some nice little prayers, but without the HUGE love that 1 Cor 13 talks about, it is worth nothing more than some good old tradition.
So here is my question: (and keep in mind that this is coming from a girl who choose on her own accord to join a presbyterian church) How much value is there in denominations? And I am not talking about on a ersonal level, I am talking about the larger scale. Each denomination seems so different. Like a bunch of cousins. Yes, they might have the same family line, but whoa, ,each one's DNA is so unique that you might not even see the family resemblance unless they are stadning sidee by side. (I have a cousin who is half Indian and just plain out gorgeous, and when you put her next to my siblings and I, our noses are all exactly the same... sorry, wierd side note). But really, maybe we should get together, realizing that there is ONE Orthodoxy (McLaren doesn't admit that enough in his book), but that none of us represent it perfectly. We all represent jusst a little part of it. Maybe a family reunion is called for.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

what a beautiful morning

So check out my morning...
I didn't set my alarm last night and I allowed myself to wake up to the sun. When the sun rises, around 7am, its rays fall directly onto my face and i wake up all warm and gushy feeling. after lying in bed for a while, i got up and checked my email ( I am definitly my mom's daughter). I found an email from Eric, a pen pal who goes to UCSC. I love reading his emails because we both seem to appreciate each others randomness. I went to the gym, which is comletely empty at this time, and watched my daily dose of Gilmore Girls. On the way home, I bought some mm's. I got to my apartment and found all my roommates had left for the day. So I warmed up some of the lentil curry I made the other night, put on some old school worship music, and sat on our balcony looking over the tranquilo neighborhood. How could you not praise God in that moment?
Coming up next: reading a chapter from The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, and of course, the mm's.

Journaling and Ashlee's parents

So I have become quite lazy with my blogs, I am sorry for that. But my journals are full to the brim. i officially started my fifth journal here in Chile, crazy huh? I was explaining to Ashlee that journalling has become my coping mechanism. Closely related to a defense mechanism, but more on the coping and less on the defensive side. It is just that there are times when I NEED my journal. Not that most of the journal entries are about these horrible things, most of them are just reflective. But when a time arises that I need to express either pain or disapointment, I better have my journal close by. Anyways, the point of this story is... I guess there is no point.
Ashlee's parents sent her a HUGE box filled with fun stuff, including Easter candy! So we have been eating peeps and See's chocolate bunnies, watching Napoleon Dynamite, and trying to figure out what to do with the 7 washclothes that were sent. Her parents are so awesome. I really admire them. Like Ashlee always has stories of people that lived with her family for a while because they were refugees and homeless or for some reason they needed the shelter. Her parents seem to always be serving God in little ways and in big ways. They are totally an inspiration to me. I hope someday that if I have money I can use it the way they do.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I am coming HOME!!!

At least for a visit. I bought my ticket yesterday to come home at the end of July for two weeks. I haven't told my boss yet, but she will just have to be okay with it, won't she? Here is my schedule:
July 27th- leave for NYC
July 28th- Arrive in NYC, spend the day there, ,go down to Philly to spend the night
July 29th- hang out with Kallie in Philly (Kallie, I hope this is okay with you! hehe)
July 30th- Wawshington DC for Grandpa Lip's Birthday!
July 31st- head to California with my dad
August 1-12th- ENJOY BEAUTIFUL CALIFORNIA!!!
August 12th- get back on a plane for Chile, ,with a quick stop in Los Angeles where I hope to pick up a friend for the rest of the trip (you know who you are!)

The wierd thing is I was thinking about how I might be feeling about Chile and the States during this trip. And as much as I am so exited to go home and see all of you (I actually started to cry when I bought the ticket, embarrassing!) I think that at the end of my time up there, I will be missing CHile. I like my life here and it will be nice to leave and know that I have a great life to come back to.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

on cloud nine

So I have never fully experienced Easter. I mean, I have had the big ham dinner (very kosher of course!) and I have done the Easter egg hunts (I prefer walnut hunts), I have even bought the little egg coloring kits to make my own "Easter eggs". But for all the times I have said, "Happy Easter", I have never understood the true meaning of the statement nor why we say it.
So this morning, instead of going to the sunrise service, I found a quiet bench outside and read my Bible. I read through the four accounts of the resurrection and found myself thinking about a sermon that Brian Kay gave a year back about the necessity of the resurrection. Why the death of Jesus was not the whole story. And I realized the point of Easter. (For those of you who realized this years ago, bear with me, I take awile to get some things.) Easter is the day we set asided in our year to truly reflect and celebrate that our Savior is Victorious. He not only died, but he defeated death and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He is powerful. He told His disciples after His resurrection that all power had been given unto Him and they were to go out into the world preaching His great news of new life. Not a temporary life, but the one we were created for.
So after reflecting on this amazing thought, I walked over to church filled with the greatest joy. And can I tell you? I was SO BLESSED by the sermon. Never, in my 7 months of being here, have I heard a sermon that so clearly presented the Gospel. The sermon was on Isaiah 53 and how Jesus' death and life, His resurrection was all a part of the plan of God. The plan of redemption. What a blessed thing to celebrate!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Chile's Easter

So it feels like everyone in this city, all six million people, have fled for the four day weekend. Thats right folks, kids got out of school wednesday at noon, and all the families packed up and left to go out to the beach or Argentina. Ashlee and I decided to stay and enjoy the quiet weekend. Yesterday I went to church and LOVED IT. As many of you might have guessed, I am sometimes skeptical of church traditions. But this "meditacion antes de la cruz" was wonderful. After that Ashlee and I made dinner together and watched some movies. Today, after a quick run, I got in my bathing suit, and enjoyed the last few hours of sunshine we will have for a long time. I laid out on our porch and read through the passion week section of The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah (Edersheim). What an amazing writer!!! Basically a day in heaven: Latin music playing in the background, a quiet city, sunshine (and sunblock mom, don't worry!), and my book. Tomorrow morning I am going to the sunrise service with the English church, and then the noon service with my new Spanish church. I am trying to take advantage of the fact that I am in a country that has differnt focuses when it comes to religous holidays. We gringos tend to focus on Christmas. Don't get me wrong, I am in no way saying that we don't care about Easter, or that Chileans don't care about Christmas. But before I came here I heard that Catholics focus more on Easter and Protestants on Christmas. And now I am seeing it in action. I don't remember having a whole Metropolitan city shut down for good friday. But yes, everything except for the largest grocery store and Burger King were closed on friday.
So maybe I could blame McLaren's Generous Orthodoxy for this one (thanks Rach!), but I am trying to see more of the bridge and less of the gap between Catholics and Protestants. I am trying to see how maybe in some ways, Catholics got it right, and Protestants have missed the point. And vice versa. I think when it all comes down to it, I would classify myself as a protestant (McLaren would disapprove). But i think as a wise man(you know who you are!) told me last night concerning what churches are okay to participate in: as long as they believe in the Bible, preach the Gospel, and serve Jesus with all their heart,

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

nightmares

So once again I am wondering if I am 22 or 4. I have been having nightmares the last few days, and last night I lost a good amount of sleep fom a pretty bad one. I woke up around 3:30 in the morning from a nightmare. I sat in bed dreading to go back to sleep. I couldn't deal with the thought of returning to the nightmare. This particular one had been extrmely emotionally distressing and I felt emotionally and mentally drained. I just sat there in my bed debating over whether I could go back to sleep or not. I finally decided, in my half awake state that the best plan of action would be to pray. So I prayed and slowly God helped me fall back asleep. I find that my dreams are fairly vivid and emotional. Time for audience participation: do you guys have dreams like that? Do you ever wake up with your pillow wet from crying while you were dreaming? Are your dreams ever so sweet that you can't stop smiling all day? Just some questions...

Sunday, April 09, 2006

palm sunday

So it is palm sunday today, and don't ask me what that is supposed to mean. I just thought I would share that fact. No, but really... I find myself more and more skeptical of traditions in the church. SOme traditions are beautiful, but if we are going to celebrate palm sunday, lets look at it from Jesus´perspective. This guy Jesus, who by the way was God, had been living on this earth filled with all the wonder and pain that comes with it, for 33 years. For the last 3 years, He had been travelling the country, living with His 12 best friends, and telling people that He has (or IS) the key to the Kingdom that they have been waiting for. So Passover is coming up and He tells two of His friends to go pick up this random donkey off the side of the road and bring it to Him. He knows that the religous guys in Jerusalem are pissed at Him, but that doesn't seem to matter. He, who has been telling all the peeps that He is this King of a long awaited kingdom, gets on the back of a donkey and starts His "triumphant entry". Now this whole thing reminds me of that scene in Aladin (yes, I am refering to the Disney movie). Remember when Aladin comes into town as a "prince", and the whole show is over the top extravagant. Like the animals and the dancers and the colors and everyone was so impressed by this guy because of all the hoop la over Him.
Now, imagine the people who came see Jesus. I am sure they had heard their friends talking about this rabbi. Word had gotten around that this Jesus guy was something else. And the people wanted to believe that Jesus really was their new king. But imagine them seeing their new king, maybe expecting something that looks like Aladins entrance, and all they got was a donkey. Now, I think this would be a good time remind ourselves that Jesus told His disciples that they had to be like little kids to get into His kingdom. So what do little kids do when they see someone they truly believe is important? They get pretty excited (and hopefully not too excited and pee in their pants). So these people with the faith of children, decided that it didn't matter that this guy who claimed to be king came into town on a donkey. So what if he didn't have dancers and a band in front of him? So what if nothing about His entrance seemed like a royal entrance, they would make it seem it a royal entrancee. They grabbed the palms from the trees they were standing next to and started waving them.
How beautiful to see that faith can help us see past appearances. I am trying to remember just how radical the Gospel is. My cold heart has heard it so many times that it refuses to really be taken in awe of the majesty of my Lord during this time. So family, friends, and random people who somehow stumble on this blog, remeber that Jesus did not seem like the glorious King, and our kingdom is not one of stone and bronze, but of love and grace, peace and mercy. And maybe try to remember what all of the stuff that we celebrate really means. It's not just a holiday for plastic colored eggs with candy in them.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Hey everyone!

So the other night I was procrastinating ( I should have been writing my lesson plans) so I was playing with my camera. Here is one of the products of my procrastination. Ashlee commented on how much I look like my mom in this picture, wierd huh?

hmmm... you mean not everyone in the world is like me?

Sometimes I think I am still in the three year old mentality of believing that everyone is just like me. Everyone thinks like me, reacts like me, feels like me, and needs the same type of encouragement that I do. For example, I tried to take a friend of mine through an exercise that my mom took me through a few years back. It is supposed to help the person discover their perfect job. Part of the exercise is writing down a few BIG dreams. When I did this a few years ago, my list looked like: be a missionary in Israel, help with AIDS patients in Africa, be a great mom to 7 or 8 kids, and be an English teacher in a high school (I guess I have kinda fulfilled the last one!). But when my friend did the exercise, I didn't feel like they were dreaming BIG enough. Anyways, I pushed and pushed and eventually made my friend upset. And then it hit me, this exercise will not encourage everyone. For me it helped me realize what my dreams were. It encouraged me to go for those dreams. But for others, this exercise might not work the same way. My mom instilled in me a passion to live out my crazy dreams, but some people don't want that. Some people are not made to have crazy dreams. They have nice normal safe dreams. And I am begining to realize that it is good for them to have those types of dreams and it is good for me to have my type of dreams. This may seem basic to those of you who are reading this, but for some reason (like I said earlier) I tend to stick to the three year old mentality. Slowly, but hopefully surely, I am maturing.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Some photos from "the move"

The black out the night before we moved. Fortunatly, we lived on the main road so all the lights that kept us up all night, now served to light up our apartment while we had no electricity.

Believe it or not, my HUGE suitcase was filed with all the books I have. I guess we can see what I value in life...


Ashlee and I moved our belongs by loading them up in a grocery shopping cart. I was laughing so hard as we walked through the streets of Santiago pushing our stuff in a shopping cart. It was really cool though to see how many people offered to help us.

My shoe box of a room. Small, but it's home...

Where in the world did I get all this bathroom crap!?!

wow, the time is flying

I can't believe how quickly the time flies here. We moved this weekend into a new apartment (differnt than the one we originally thought), and basically all weekend was spent cleaning, packing, moving, unpacking, and more cleaning. In the States, when you move into a new apartment, generally it is cleaned beforehand. The rental agency sends someone do at least a quick cleanup. Well, not in this country. We were welcomed into our new apartment by inches of dust and a bad smell coming from the bathroom. After hours of cleaning though, the apartment is looking, and smelling, like home.
Ashlee and I are trying to establish a routine. We had decided to make Tuesday our Dunkin Donuts Bible Study night. We went last night and ended up having a much needed talk. I was able to confess a lot that has been on my heart recently and take advantage of the fact that she has been basically my accountability partner for the last 4 years. In any case, slowly things are falling into place.