Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Years in New York

Tomorrow I am heading off to New York to spend my last few days of 2007 with some friends in Jews for Jesus. We will be doing some outreach, bible studies, and having tons of fun. Please pray for us during this week. I'm not sure exactly what type of evangelism we will be doing, but I know that anytime I have done ay evanglism with JFJ, crazy and amazing things have happened. I'll be back on the 1st since the real world doesn't seem to rest.
Have a great New Years. You Chileans, please don't stay out past 7 or 8 am. :)
And you "not-so-Chileans" stay out at least till 1am. It's New Years!
See you all next year!!!

Hopeless romantic rantings


I realized last night that the moments that are most romantic to me, the ones where I feel my singleness more than ever, are the mundane activities of life. Like putting on my pjs and brushing my teeth. There was this moment last night when I looked up from brushing my teeth and caught a glimpse in the mirror. I was standing there in my pjs, face freshly washed, eyes tired and longing for the pillow. And I almost expected to see someone behind me. Not like the scary movies where you shut the medicine cabinet and see that dark figure in the mirror, but more of a comfortable, Alison Krauss music in the background, soft yellow lights type of figure in the mirror. I know I am a hopeless romantic, and life is much bigger than these daydreams. But in all honesty, is life really bigger than a compilation of the mundane? What could be more real in life than the reality of falling asleep each night next to the person you love?

These are my hopeless romantic rantings.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas gifts

Every year, kids write hundreds of letters to an old man with a white beard who allegedly lives in the North. And every year kids get thousands of presents with big red bows on them. I'm not a big present person. Well, I am. But not a holiday gift person. I melt over roses and cry when I get care packages filled with my favorite chilean candies (thanks Ash and Dani). But gifts that are given on holidays like Christmas and birthdays seem to be given more out of obligation than the heart. Chubs and I give each other gifts for those holidays, but always extremely late. Our Christmas presents are often in May, sometimes in June. But the presents are less about that holiday and more about the chance to give the other person that gift that you had worked on for a few weeks. I appreciate those friendships in my life that run deeper than gifts, indeed even deeper than time or distance.

Today is the 6th day I have spent in solitary confinement and it has been good. I have really just relaxed. Caught up on my One Tree Hill reruns (shhh.. don't tell anyone that I am secretly addicted). Gone to sleep at 4am watching the Catholic scholars debate some early church manuscript on some random topic. And spent a lot of time thinking. One of the things that came to mind during this welcomed imprisonment is the fact that the Lord has given me so much this last year. I consider these my Christmas presents for the year- given from His hand to me over the past 12 months. These are the gifts that I truly cherish:

- I started off this New Year on one of the most amazing vacations ever imagined. Travelling the beautiful country of Chile with my mom and Nigel. There was one part of the trip in particular in which my mom and I shared a moment that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. And I have the Kevin Johannsen cd to help me relive it.

- I got to see two of my best friends marry incredible godly men. Rachel. Chubs. I couldn't have asked for more godly men than the ones that the Lord brought to you. Rico. Dave. May the Lord bless you men as you love and serve these women.

- The friends I met this year astound me. Sarah is truly my sister and I don't know how I lived the last 24 years without her in my life. Michelle is "my fav!". I moved so far and so soon. I would be lost without her as my partner in crime.

- And of course the friends of old. Man, these girls never cease to amaze me by their love for the Lord and the way He uses them to touch my life and the lives of everyone else around them. Ashlee, Danielle, Rachel, Chubs. You have blessed me incredibly this past year.

- From a very young age I was infactuated with Israel. It was my dream to go there and see the land that my ancestors had lived and died in. When I was in college, I became oddly obsessed with India. I found a love for Bollywood and Indian food. This year, I got to visit both of these countries that I had dreamed of for so long.

-My dream of going to seminary came true. And not just any seminary, but Westminster! And all of my expectations have not been dissapointed. I still walk down the hallways pinching myself sure that I am living in a dream.

- This last year I experienced some of the greatest heartbreak. Yes, this was a gift. Every heart break I have experienced has been a result of my heart being attached to something the Lord needed me to give up. And looking back I see how faithful He was to take me out of and away from everything that served as an idol in my life. Many of these things may be restored someday, but for now I am placing my utter and complete trust in the Lord and His timing.

-One of the best gifts that I have received is the chance to spend time with my dad. The Lord has answered my prayers that I had almost considered vain and He has given me so much time with my dad this year. My dad has always been a very special person to me and although we have had our bumps in the road, it has been the greatest treasure to spend time with him this year.


To all of my family and friends, don't forget that the greatest gift we could ever receive is the restored relationship with the Lord that we have through Christ. His love runs deeper than the deepest pain of this life and is the ultimate fulfillment of any and every dream of happiness we have. God is good. He is faithful.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas... once upon a time

Once upon a time... there was a God who created a world and placed a special creation of His as His very representative over the rest of the creation. This representative was called "man". Man enjoyed a very unique and intimate relationship with God. Man knew who he was and who God was, and he enjoyed his relationships with God, other men, and all of creation. Everything was in it's right place.
But things went wrong. Man choose to leave that right relationship with God. Sadly, man's relationship with woman and all of creation was dependent on his relationship with God. Man no longer lived in joy and peace, but in pain and frustration. He wanted so badly to get back to that place where he once was. With God. With other men. With creation. All of his life, he tried to get back to that place. The problem was that man couldn't restore the relationship, only God could. But God is a just God and knew that the only way to restore the relationship was the right way, the just way. So God came down Himself as a man. He became The Man. He came down and lived the life that man had created, one filled with brokenness and pain. God, became man, suffered, and died- all to restore that relationship that man had ruined. And being The Man, He lived perfectly, always trusting God, always living in light of the relationship He had with God.
The great news is that His life as the perfect man, granted Him the right to a restored relationship with God. Now, He offers that right to all men. Whichever man comes to Him, to God, receives the right to a restored relationship with God.

What a beautiful story! This is the story I live everyday. Even Christmas. To be honest, I don't really like Christmas. The music, the lights, the fruitcake. Without going deep into my psyche, I will just say that Christmas is not my favorite time. I don't like pretending to be jolly and happy, and yet I feel like I am forced to when everyone around me seems to be living the "Winter Wonderland" life.
In the past I have handled this season in different ways. I used to try to fit my square life into the circle peg of Christmas, screaming the inadequacies of my life from the rooftops until everyone I loved felt the arrow I inadvertently had pointed in their direction. This of course only led to pain and lonliness. When I realized that my method was not producing the happy family scenes that the CBS family Christmas movie, I changed my tactic. I decided to ignore Christmas. This worked, kinda. But there was something still wrong. I couldn't take away the fact that everyone around me was enjoying the time. Was it wrong to like Christmas? Was it wrong that these people around me were so happy?
My jealousy had almost blinded me to the gift that Christmas gives us. The Lord created us to be in relationships. With Him, with others. We are so far from it yet still we strive to reach that closeness with others. We long for intimacy. Few times in the year is this expressed more clearly than Christmas time. At Christmas we see all our desire for restored relationships out in the open. Moms and daughters laughing over old photos, Dads and sons watching football. Stories, laughter, more stories. Aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, second cousins' hairdressers. You get the picture. At Christmas we get a glimpse of the very thing the Lord created us for. Now that is something I can thank God for.

Okay, sorry for this one- I'm bored.


So... this is what you get when I have been stuck in the house for way too long. So... yeah... I have a new camera- thanks mom.



Saturday, December 22, 2007

Stomach Flu.. ech

I have never had the stomach flu before. Thursday night I started to feel sick. Really sick. I spent most of Thursday night throwing up. Since then it has been a vicious cycle of nausea, fever, and aching. The amazing thing about being sick these last few days is the absolute change in the way I am handling being sick. I know, it sounds pathetic, but I am the BIGGEST baby when I am sick. I cry over nothing and sit in a perpetual pity party. I am such a baby. My friends and roommates can attest to this. One time I burst out crying in youth group because I had a fever. My emotions actually feel uncontrollable when I am sick and I spend a good amount of time crying.
But this time was different. I got sick, and as usual called my mom. Even when I was in Chile, if I got sick I called my mom. I just need her to know that I am sick, even if she can do nothing about it. So I called her Thursday, let her know. I didn't cry, didn't sit in a pity party. I was miserable, don't get me wrong. I would easily categorize the throwing up as violent, but I didn't cry. There were moments when I was in so much pain but I never got that depressed feeling that I usually get when I am sick. There was a moment on Thursday night when I felt myself trying to feel pity, but realizing that I couldn't. I also realized that it was a gift from God. I was immediately filled with gratitude and began praying that God would continue to give me the grace I needed to get through this. And He has.
Even with it being Christmas time (not my favorite time of the year) and all my friends having left to go home to their families for the break, even being all alone and very sick, I am still okay. This must be the work of God in my heart. There can be no other explanation. Really, the change is so dramatic that I almost don't believe it's real. The Lord never ceases to surprise me.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Winter


I am not an east coast girl. I have no clue how to deal with snow. Real snow, the kind that fall from the sky and makes your life so much more conplicated. And the thing is, I was not really thinking all this through when I signed up for this east coast seminary thing. So now I am just waiting in dread for the white mess to begin. I know it is not that big of a deal, and yet it is more stressful to me than anything else I have had to deal with here. I am just not mentally prepared for living here. I actually start to panic when I think about it. When I think about the fact that I am living out here on the east coast.
It's okay, I am going to learn to appreciate this whole "seasons" thing. We don't have them in California. I mean, sure it gets a little colder in December and in March it rains a little more than usual. And in the summer it warms up to 75 in wonderful San Francisco. But honestly, it is almost always a day when you wear at shirt and a sweatshirt. That way you can be ready for the "warm" and "cool" of the day.
I do love fall. I loved it in Santiago when all the trees on my street turned wonderful colors and the leaves would line the sidewalks, making a red and orange splashed walkway to my apartment complex. I loved the light wind that would brush my cheek as I walked along the bright streets. It is truly romantic. Someday I plan on walking those streets under the arm of my husband, enjoying the immense beauty of it all. I'll have to figure out a way to appreciate the winter the same way. Maybe I will make the snow a great excuse for staying in bed with a good book. That might work for me.

CHUBS


When I was 12 I met a girl named Annalisa. She was tall, skinny, with long blonde hair, and one of the most innocent girls I had ever met. I was coming out of a harsh context where I had learned to wear harsh eyeliner and a thick shell of emotional protection from the cruelty around me. I started at this new school and when I met Annalisa, I thought I was too much for her. Too mature, too cool, too "bad" for her. After a year in my new school, I began to realize that all that I was before was a facade. And I found refuge in my friendship with Annalisa. We found laughter and joy in our time together and discovered that we worked well together. We went into high school together and ran for class president and secretary. We ran that class. Man oh man, we had more parties, more BBQ's, and more fundraisers than any other class in the history of that school. We were on fire. We came up with the name "chubs" for each other. It came from the idea of "chubbing out" on some snacks. We each called the other "chubs" and although everyone else in our class was confused by the name, it made sense to us. The name stuck.
In the middle of sophomore year, things happened and I changed schools. Could we keep our friendship going when we didn't go to the same school, attend the same church, or even live in the same town? Well we did. Somehow we kept our friendship. Every year we would meet up once or twice (usually in the summer and Christmas breaks) and we would sit in some coffee shop for hours, and I mean hours, talking and giggling.
For the last 10 years we have kept our long distance friendship going and last weekend, I was honored to stand beside Chubs as she married a godly man. Annalisa and Dave were married last saturday in the church her parents and grandparents were married in. I flew out to California the week before the wedding and got to be a part of the preparations of the big day. Chubs has been so faithful to Dave through the years of singlehood and it was so touching to see them come together before all of us and and vow unto the Lord to serve and love another for the rest of their lives.


Chubs, you have been a faithful model of a godly woman. May your life as a wife continue in this great honor. May the Lord bless you and make His face shine upon you. May your marriage bring blessing to all around you guys and may the Lord bless your ministry together!

bedtime driftings

So what does an absolute nerd think of before she goes to bed?
I have always read before going to sleep. When I was yougner the books were usually short novels. I liked ones based around the Holocaust where a young heroine fights for survival. I felt somehow close to them, I understood them. The other books I read were Loraine McDaniel books. All teenage love stories about cancer ridden girls. Sick, I know. But I loved those books and I would imagine that someday I would get cancer, go to the camp that all the cancer kids get to go to, and meet my prince charming. And we would battle our cancer together.
Anyways, I have noticed a definte change in my reading material. I still read every night before I go to sleep, but now I read theology. I don't even mean Christian living, I mean actual academic theology. Like last night I was reading on Radical Orthodoxy and it's interactions with Reformed THeology. And as I turned off the light to go to sleep, the thoughts in my head were way too nerdy. They actually made me laugh out loud. I thought about Calvin and his thoughts on the eucharist and whetheror not our tradition today follows his ideas. I thought about the fact that church involvement has been on the decline for the last 40 years and yet we find megachurches drawing thousands of people. That led to me thinking about the comment that the author of the radical orthodoxy book had written about baby boomers going back to church later in life. He commented that they were choosing their churches not based upon the denominations they had grown up in, but upon the services offered by the church. Interesting. And then I thought about the generational divide in churches with some congregations filled with over 60's and others whose oldest member is 35. How can a church attract both older and younger generations? And is it the churches' responsibility to attract anyone?
The point is: these are actually the thoughts that run through my head as I lie in bed at night. Ugh. I guess the nerdiness of my life is at an all time high.

Long time awaiting

I know its been a while since I wrote here. I have thought a lot about this blog. I'm sure no one even reads it (except Sam and Rachel) and really, should anyone read these thoughts? This blog has become so confession for me. I have found myself time and time again turning to this medium for my therapy, working out the craziness that I find in my heart. It used to be a way of telling my family and friends about my time in South America. I had all my connections in one central area and I knew that through the blog I could inform those I loved of my wellbeing. But now my connections are more arbitrary. I don't have any centrality in my life. I am geographically in Philadelphia. I am mentally in California (James would argue that I never mentally left California!) I am academically in Jerusalem, Geneva, and Scotland. And my heart, my heart still resides in Chile. I still cry sometimes over mi pais. Not as much as I used to. But when I am honest with my situation, and I allow myself to feel those desires that I usually deny myself, I long to be back in Chile. I am no where and everywhere all at once. This is where I am writing from.

I always seem to have Carrie Bradshaw's voice in my mind, opening the scenes of my life with such feminine clarity. The constant commentary on my life is sometimes encouraging, sometimes pathetic. But always entertaining. I think I actually believe that I live in a sitcom. I am finally through the madness of finals and have a moment to rest and reflect on the last three months. I am at Elcy's Coffeehouse, one of my favorite places to sit for a few hours. The next few blogs will be more of a emotional purge after the binge of the past few months. I hope whoever reads them can find it in their heart to forgive my distracted ramblings, and maybe they might see the heart behind the madness.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

All my fountains

I want to share this song that we sing at my church. Really moving words that seemed to speak more clearly today to me than ever before.

When I walk through the fire, Lies aflame tempt my weary heart, Oh my soul
Where is there peace to be found? Where can my feet find their ground?
When I'm swept through the storm, wind and rain hound me all my days, Oh my Lord!
Cause me to rest in your arms, save me from fear and from harm
Oh Lord, There is not rock of refuge,
No port of anchorage,
Nothing to keep the seas at bay,
Nothing to to hold me
Nothing can save me
But you, 'cause all my fountains are in you

With this blood on my hands, Acusations have found their proof, O my soul!
Fruit of my heart is but death, I've sown it so deep in my breast
Where can healing exist? For such a cold sinstained wretch as this, Oh my Lord!
Cause me to run to you tree, Open my eyes that I see You, O Lord...
There is no rock of refuge,
No port of anchorage,
Nothing to keep the seas at bay,
Nothing to hold me
Nothing can save me
But you, 'cause all my fountains are in you.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

"heart" of lippy

Through all the jokes about "hear to flippy" and "heart off, lippy", the truth is this blog is supposed to be some type of reflection of my heart. Maybe that is a lofty goal for an internet blog. Or maybe its just unwise. :) I think I have tried to be honest in my attempts to share with you my life. In that honesty, I find myself writing through various seasons of life. I just want to give warning: this season is one of rawness. My entries are real, not carefully crafted to hide the reality of my situation. I have felt a deep brokeness this last week and yet a deeper peace in that brokeness, knowing that my God has all things in His control. Thank you for bearing with me. I hope somehow these entries offer hope to others. That you can see the real work that God does in the hearts of the people who follow Him.

PS- the blog name jokes, you know who you are! ;)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Fear

Wow, the week has flown!!! It has been filled with tons and tons of homework. Lots of other work, and of course some really good conversations. This week was interesting. I found myself missing my life more than ever. I got a notice in my school mailbox telling me the radio stations to listen to for snow days. Umm.. yeah.. snow days? And it really began to hit me this week that I LIVE here. Even as I type these words I feel my whole body getting tense. The only time I remember feeling this tense was when I was working too many hours with 22 credits in school. I feel the panic of the unknown, the fear. My dad had given me warning that if I needed time to adjust before coming out here for seminary, I should. But I thought I was fine. I have never been one to allow myself time to adjust. But I am seeing that maybe I am not as flexible and invincible as I thought I was. I have these moments when I feel deep fear. I have no clue how to handle the fact that I live here. Here in Philadelphia. Here on the east coast. Here in the country. How do you drive in snow? Is it dangerous? I am so cold, so cold here. I love studying here, but I have to admit, this feels so much more foreign land than Chile ever did. Anyways, enough rantings for the day. Please pray for this time and that I would have wisdom as to how much to allow myself to feel the weight of the situation. Thank you for all the encouraging emails I have gotten. God bless!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Hard Week Ending

In Doctrine of Church today, Stan Gale spoke about spiritual warfare and I was really grateful for the lecture. This week has been somewhat intense. Nothing big in particular, but may little things breaking my heart. I had a dream last night about someone from my past that I am having a hard tiem forgiving (and no, they don't read this blog). In my dream I was crying uncontrollably and at various times I would see myself in the mirror and not have any sign of my crying. My eyes were normal, not puffy. When I woke up though, I had really been crying. This week has been hard on my heart. But in class Gale talked about how the crisises in our lives are there sometimes to show us where we are not okay. Where we are not walking in the full promises of the Lord. I have seen this week so much about myself, where my heart is, where my mouth is, and I am sick at the thought of my actions and thoughts this week. I know the Lord is gracious, and I am choosing to beleive that even though I might not feel it right now. I feel like this week a big spot light on my heart, showing any and all filth that might be there. This weekend, I hope to rest in His promises. He has called me to a life of holiness and I want that with all my heart and soul. So I am joyful in this shame. I rest in knowing that God is dealing with me out of love. He cares too much for me to let me continue in my sin.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Why are hearts so complicated? I feel like I spend so much time dealing with my heart and the hearts of my sisters. Between the bliss of deep love and the utter pain of heart break there is a whole range of emotions. I don't think I have ever felt either of the extremes but I'm always somewhere in the middle. Feelings of hope in a new crush or realizations that old crushes need to die. Hearts are so complicated. Being here at seminary with all these married couples is really cool and yet really challenging to figure out what it means to be single in this married world. In any case, I eventually come back to the same thought: I need the Lord to direct my heart. I know it sounds cliche, but it is unavoidably true. I tend to make messes with my heart, always forgetting that the maker of my heart wants me to be wholly and fully dedicated to Him before any other god, I mean man. Sorry, slip of the tongue. God bless!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A New Thought

Today was one of those days when you know the Lord is teaching you what He has been doing in your life. Last night I left my wallet at the inner city campus. This morning when I couldn't find it and I knew there was a good chance that it was gone forever, I wanted to freak out. The inner city campus is a 30 minute drive. As I made my way down there, I praying. I was praying that I would have the right response to the situation. That I would live as one who had been redeemed, living out that realtity in this situation. And the Lord spoke to my heart. He reminded me of those very truths that I have been "hiding in my heart", His plan for redemption which He has played out throughout all history. And this is the story He has called me to be a part of, not just in an eternal salvific manner, but in my every moment in this life.
I was thinking on all these things, listening to some gospel music ("He brought me through tribulation... for I know that I am blessed and highly favored!") and I was realizing all the intense truths that God has been teaching me, in all my classes, all my assignments, all my readings, I have been overwhelmed with these amazing truths. And then it dawned on me: I am so overwhelmed in dealing with these truths, and it is just me and God. I wrestle everyday with these incredible realities. And I do it alone. Usually I get all lonely during these times. I want someone to share these moments with, someone to work through these issues with. But today I saw the grace in my singlehood. I am able to wrestle with these issues on such a deep level because the only "man" in my life is the Lord. I don't have to worry about my relationship with my husband, with serving him and loving him, since I am commited to one man, and that man has brought me here, kept me for Himself, and is now teaching me to know and love Him in such a deeper way. I am surely blessed and highly favored!!!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Forgive me

My friend Sam posted a blog about a song by Foolish Things. I listened to the song on repeat for about 30 minutes and was touched by the sincerity of the lyrics:

Forgive me


Forgive me when my prayers have come to you,
Grosser than the things confessed,
Reeking with emptiness.

Forgive me when religion’s been my god,
And all that I do, that denies you are there,
But you’re there.

Did I forget you were listening?
Could I deceive the one that’s given me my heart?

Forgive when I’ve come to pray to you,
Just to get it done, before I run,
away from you.

Forgive when I’ve merely said the words,
And severed devotion from all of my emotions.

Did I forget you were listening?
Could I deceive the one that’s given me my heart?
Did I forget you were listening?
Could I deceive the one that’s given me my heart?

It took your blood to bring me to the place,
Where I could meet you face to face,
So let me claim the promise true,
And bring myself to talk to you

Did I forget you were listening?
Could I deceive the one that’s given me my heart?
Did I forget what you’d given me?
Could I deceive the one that’s given me my heart?
Did I forget you were living in my heart?
…living in my heart.

Forgive me when my prayers have come to you,
Grosser than the things confessed,
Reeking with emptiness.




It’s interesting how quickly we point our finger at the Pharisees and denounce them hypocrites (which they are) and yet we fail to see our own hypocrisy… we pretend that we have this Christianity thing down, that we are already sanctified, that our offerings to Christ are worthy. Yet, more often then not, my prayers are just ramblings, not coming from the heart, but from some concept of obligation on my part to pray. Definitly “reeking with emptiness”. How good to know that God’s goodness is not dependent on my response to it. Even when I am ignorant, or just plain self-centered, the Lord is good and He chooses to bless us, unworthy as we are.

I'm ruined

So I have always had a place in my heart (right next to Jesus of course) for the Christian literature that fills the bookshelves of Christian bookstores in our Christian country. Okay, that was a little sarcastic. But really, I have enjoyed many Christian Living books over my years and particularly found mysef drawn to the "relationship" ones. Since I have been traveling so much recently, I haven't had the chance to read any recently. A girlfriend of mine loaned me one of these books that week and last night I started reading it. I realized within the first few pages that I would not be able to read this book as I had in the past. That my understanding of Christian living as a whole has changed. I now cringe at straight line bible applications. For example, the story of Ruth is not meant to be a prescriptive account of how young Christian women should pursue older Christian men. It is a descriptive account of God playing out His redemptive story in the lives of His people. But we focus the bible on ourselves, as opposed to the true focus of every verse in the old and new testaments: Jesus.
So anyways, this whole biblcal redemptive narrative theology is causing me to pause as I read these Christian self-help books. They are usually written with great intentions for growth and godliness but the authors seem to misunderstand the purpose of God's word. Anyways, biblical theology: love it, it's ruining my nice little North American Christian culture bubble, but that's just how it's going to be.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Where do you sit?

Once again, a post about the wonderful life of seminary students. I have been spending some quality time in the library. And I have noticed that my fellow students have each found their "spot". The entrance to the library is on the third floor which has a general study area with big long tables and tall windows facing the parking lot. From there you can go up to the top floor, the Biblical theology department. There is limited seating, but a great room where groups can meet to work together. If you go down two floors to the second floor there is even less seating area but the wonderful Practical Theology Department resides there. And finally the bottom floor where we find the Hebrew Institure, the computer lab, and a bunch of study stations. It is there on the bottom floor, amoung the study stations that I plant myself everyday. I ususally sit in the second station, close to the door so I can see who walks into the room (to feed my social hunger), but also close to the water fountain for when I get thirsty.
You see, everyone has their "spot". My friend Jason likes the fourth floor study room. I always see Mike and Jess when I walk through the third floor. And there are a bunch of guys with their laptops open on the one table on the second floor. I chose the bottom floor. I see the same people there everyday in the study stations. We all smile at each other. It is a small thing, but somehow having that personal "spot" in the library makes my being part of the seminary community just a little more real.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Pearl of Wisdom

My struggle to keep my devotion to God from dying from over theo-contextu-systematizing has weighed heavily on my mind. I read Brian Kay's blog. He shared an interview he had with John Stott, who during the interview quoted Bishop Moule.
The pearl of wisdom for the day:

"we must be aware equally of an undevotional theology and of an untheological devotion" (check out the whole interview)

What glorious advice! Seminary students beware. We are being given the theological tools to lead our brothers and sisters in devotion, but we must tread carefully this ground, lest we fall into dead theology.

Michelle



This blog is dedicated to my new friend Michelle who inspires me with her passion for the Lord. She and I found each other on the porch of Machen Hall and cannot seem to get rid of each other. Sometimes I think the curse of "right doctrine" is that I get more concerned about knowing than doing. That I care more about knowing that the first answer to the Westminster Catechism is : "Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever" and I forget to actually just DO that. Michelle is one of those women whose passion for the Lord leads her to sing, literally sing praises to God for all those little blessings in life that I overlook. The more I hang out with Michelle the more I find myself stopping in the middle of the day and taking that moment to thank God for being so good.
Michelle, thank you for your prayers, thank you for your example as a godly woman. God bless you girl!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

How beautiful are the feet!

Today in Survey of Reformed Theology we discussed Revelation, which led to the topic that all non-reformed folk love to take up with reformed folk: predestination. And the question was raised, If election is true, why share the gospel? If God has already chosen the ones who will come to him, then why go out and witness to people?

These questions break my heart. If the doctrine of election leads us to laziness and apathy toward those who don't follow Christ, then our understanding of the gospel is off. You see, the gospel COMPELS believers to share it. By definition it is the "Good News". It is a joy to share, not a chore. It is life-giving, not just time-consuming.

Our understanding of the gospel (which by the way we should preach to ourselves everyday) should stir within us a passion for the Lord. This passion calls us to walk a life worthy of the calling and to share this glorious news. It's all a matter of perspective.

Do we obey because we have this overbearing all-knowing Big Brother? Do we live unsanctified lives, considering cheap the grace that has been afforded us? Or do we grasp this glorious news that we have been redeemed? This redemption is granted to all who hear and believe.


"But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how are they to believe on whom they have never heard?
And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
And how are they to preach unless they are sent?
As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news'"
Romans 10:14-15

Monday, October 08, 2007

Biblical Theology- gotta love it

I quit my job. I didn't even really get through the training period. But I had realized that the job was killing my school life. That I was spending all my energy on the job and was left with very little to give to my school work. So I quit last weekend and spent last week on campus. What a treat. My gosh, it was so cool to walk around campus and sit in the library. To talk to people who are studying the same things I am. To sit in on a class that I am not registered for, just to learn. To read the great books that have been sitting in my bookshelf for weeks begging to be read. And it was this last week and that I realized once again just how much I am such a nerd.
One of the things I am most nerdy about is Biblical Theology. It is a way of approaching the Bible that views the Bible as a historical redemptive narrative of God and His people. I spent most the weekend working on some papers dealing with this approach. It was heaven. The point of Biblical theology is to lead you directly to Jesus, no matter how obscure the Old Testament passage. Lovely, just lovely. If you get a chance, check out www.beginningwithmoses.org.

Another thought that I feel the need to share: Studying theology is great. But I have been wisely warned to be careful with my devotional life. When studying the Word of God is your job, how do you be sure that God remains your heart and not just the object of your mind. I have found in these last few weeks that my relationship with the Lord has changed. I find Him so intriguing. I find Him challenging me everyday to draw close to Him. And I have to confess that He has shown me some not so pretty things about my heart and life. You see, recently He has shown me that although I enjoy the benefits of Him as my Savior, that I tend to deny Him the right to be Lord of my Life. That I don't let him dictate those intricate parts of my heart that I want to continue to control. I'm praying for the grace to submit myself completely to the Lord as my King, that He may reign in my life.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

got church?

I went to church today. It's sunday, so that's not abnormal, but today was different. You see I love church, I spend my whole week waiting for sunday to come and for my chance to go into the church building, see those faces I love, sing songs that lift my spirit, and be a part of that larger theoretical Body of Christ in its very real form. I love sundays. I love the sleeping in on Sundays. I love the slowness of Sundays. I love the whole idea of Sundays. The last few months have been different though. Traveling through Israel and India made my Sunday traditions dissapear (especially in Israel which starts it week on Sunday the way we start on Monday) and although I have visited a few churches, I have not felt that sunday feeling. Today I felt it. I visited a church today, a church plant of Redeemer in NY. And it was amazing. The liturgy was just right. Traditional yet personal. The music was beautiful, hymns with a jazz twist. And the sermon, oh the sermon was so good. Biblical, intellectually stimulating, and most importantly formed on the redemptive narrative of the Bible. Okay, before I gush any further, I'll leave you with this: My traveling and craziness is over. And I am already looking forward to worshiping next sunday.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Por fin, more to come!

Okay okay okay. I'm back. It's been a long time and actually I will be shocked if anyone still checks this blog anymore. But in anycase, here I am. Hineni. It has been quite a long trip. I will try to give an overview and update on what is going on now.
Israel: We arrived in Israel on the 28th and the next day i celebrated my 24th birthday. I spent the day walking around Tel Aviv, finding an ADORABLE artesian street market. I bought some fresh fruit from the shook (hebrew for market) and just enjoyed the special day. It was actually probably one of my favorite birthdays, alone with the Lord in a beautiful location. Good stuff. Our time in Israel was divided up between classes, fieldtrips all over Israel, and of course evangelism.
Classes: We too classes twice a day for 2-3 hours each class. Our hebrew classes were interesting but I have to admit that I didn't learn as much as I had hoped to. But I made the goal that I wanted to read and write in the modern hebrew handwriting, and I accomplished at least that. I also think I learned more than I give myself credit for since I was able to understand the majority of the conversations that I heard Israelis have. We also took classes from David Mishkin, a scholar who has written a great book on the Gospel of John and how it points to Christ as the messiah. His classes were a little more intense than the others and I love them. We took a few classes on Israel's history and Judaism, which honestly were probably the most controversial of all the classes. We sat in classes with some of the leaders of messianic judaism in Israel, and they provoked some interesting conversations about what it means to be a Jew. And I have to admit that I went into this whole conversation pretty liberal and I left liberal. Honestly, I got a lot of crap from people there about calling myself a Christian instead of a messianic Jew and even found myself on the verge of denying all Jewishness just for the sake of not dealing with the crap. Gentile Christians have it much easier in Israel. No one expects them to be faithful to the Messianic Jewish tradition. But I never seemed to celebrate enough holidays, or keep kosher enough to satisfy the people I met. Interestingly, the non messianic jews never bothered me for not keeping the holidays. After a conversation with a few Israelis who really pounced on me for calling myself Christian and not Messianic Jew, I went to bed and just prayed that the Lord would clear this whole situation up. How Jewish do I have to be? Does it matter? My mom, who is Jewish by heritage doesn't keep the holidays. She doesn't keep kosher. Why should I have to fulfill all these requirements for being Jewish when I have Christ? So I came to a conclusion: I have always decided what holidays to celebrate, what parts of the tradition I liked and wanted to implement into my life, and that had worked for me for te last 24 years. I decided that I would not change that. I am Jewish. Not because I follow a list of rules, but just because I am. I like hosting Passover Seders and I hope someday to have some type of Sabbath dinners with my family. If people want to say that it means that I am not Jewish enough, oh well. Who cares what they think anyways. I don't have to prove my Jewishness to anyone. I just am Jewish.
So Israel was interesting. I am now appreciating my time there more. Now that I am in seminary and dealing with biblical texts, I find the resources that I gained there to be invaluable. The Western Wall, the ancient ruins, the whole terrain that runs along the Mediterrain coast.
India: Wow, I have been claiming to be in love with Chile for quite sometime now. When I arrive in India, I found myself confessing to a friend that I might have a little love affair with India, just don't tell Chile! I loved India. I loved the land, the people, the food, and most of all the colors that you experienced there. Everyone wore such beautiful beautiful clothing!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Please be Patient

Hello everyone! I'm sorry this blog has been so poorly updated recently, but with moving back here I have such little time on my hands. For those of you who read this blog often, please check back every now and then. I will try to start up again at some point but it probably won't be for another few weeks. Thanks so much for all your support!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Welcome back

This post will need to be extremely short and I apologize for that, but it is about 5am to me and I haven't seemed to really have a night of sleep for 3 days now. But i am back In california and I am sad, yet feeling so blessed. Every step I ahve taken since I left Chile has been one of faith, and yet teh Lord has filled my heart with peace and joy and everytime I have started to cry, I feel the Lord sit with me patiently as I grieve before He moves me forward again. Thank you for your prayers.
I promise to write more prontito!

Monday, February 26, 2007

10 days left

I apologize for not blogging for over a week. And to be honest, this blog will not offer much. Since the change of plans, life has been more than I can handle, and through it God has been forcing me to trust Him. To trust Him that I will finish my work, that I will not get sick from working 10-12 hours a day, that we will find a person to take my place in the apartment, that we will find a job for Danielle, that He will provide grace in the hearts of my friends here to forgive me, that He kindly remind me everytime I start to freak out that He is more than sufficient and that I am only called to act in the faith He has given me. So it has been an intense few weeks, but God is good. He has brought both Ashlee and Danielle safely here. He has provided a ton of help at my job so that I can leave early. And most recently, He provided a new roommate for our apartment. Her name is Marissa and she is from Chico California. She is here working (she was here for a year study program a few years ago) while she waits to go back to grad school and God has brought her for this year to live in my place in the apartment. More details on the whole situation to come. I really appreciate your prayers. This time has not been easy and I wish I could sit down with each and every one of you and tell you how this is going and how God brought me to this place, but I can't. Please trust that I am truly seeking God's way right now and trusting in Him to make that path straight. Thank you for all your prayers.

Friday, February 16, 2007

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,my glory, and the lifter of my head.4I cried aloud to the Lord,and he answered me from his holy hill -Ps. 3:3

This verse was given to me this morning by Rachie. And He has lifted my head today. I have been nervous about raising support for Israel. But He has given me more and more peace each day, promising that He will provide. I have been looking through the internet trying to find something, anything to advise me on this process, to encourage me. And this morning in the pile of books that I classified there was a book called Friend Raising. And it is EXACTLY what I need to read. And then, the blessings continued. A friend of mine down here, himself a missionary, came into the office and handed me a check. My first support check! I couldn't believe that the Lord would be so good to me to bless me immensly twice in just a few hours!
Prasie The Lord, the lifter of my head!

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.


I was listening to a talk by Amy Lockman (on staff at Mars Hill Church) and she shared this verse. And wow, Lord please burn this verse on my heart. That I may view You as the God of Hope, that you may fill me with all joy and peace in believing in You and Your promises, and that by Your power Holy Spirit I may abound in all hope!!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day.
Usually I spend the month before this day, trying to figure out a way to secure a date, and it NEVER happens. And then I usually console myself by having my girlfriends be my valentine. But deep down I always feel depressed that another year passed without finding that special someone. Well, a few weeks ago God did some crazy things in my heart and showed me how I wasn't trusting Him. And after many tears and some long conversations with Rachie, I finally surrendered my heart to Him. I literally felt like I took my heart and placed it in His hands and said, "do with it as You please, for it is Yours". And since then I have felt so fine, more than fine, I have felt really content with where God has me, a single girl. Don't get me wrong, I still desire to get married someday, but really for right now, God has my heart and that is all that matters. And today is the big test. Can I go through Valentines Day without grabbing my heart back from the Lord and feeling all sad? So far, the Lord has been faithful to keep me secure in His love.
Girls, if you are single.. examine your hearts today. Have you really placed your heart in His hands allowing Him to guide it? Take it from me, the peace He gives is SO much better than the pity party the world will give us.

it's all finalizing

I bought my ticket yesterday. I will leave Santiago at 7:30am and arrive in San Francisco at 11:30pm. There was minor drama involved with the buying of the ticket. I had done a ton of research (I always feel like Ashlee's dad when I do that, he's known for his awesome internet research skills!) and found that the two airlines known for flying in and out of Chile, were offering my ticket for $2500! ONE WAY!!! But thank You Lord, I found another airline that offered the ticket for only $800. But then it turned out that they don't accept credit cards online. So I found a reservation office and ran on over. As I walked away with my ticket (well, an e-ticket) in my hand, it really started to hit me: I'm leaving Chile. I let the tears roll down my cheeks as I walked home. I made dinner for my friend Veronica (curry, YUM!) and we sat in my apartment for a few hours talking about our futures. She is Chilena but married to a guy from Wisconsin. They too will probably be moving back to the States soon. After she left, I sat in my room, watching my chilean soap opera that I watch each night, and I sorted through my things. Piles of things to give away, things to throw away, and things to take with me. The heart breaking part was going through my books. It was too much! I went through this two years ago when I left for Chile, getting rid of so many of my possessions. In some way, I know it's good because I don't want to be tied to my things. I want to be really truly free for the Lord to use me.
I walked to work this morning, or at least part of the way. And as I walked through these streets that I love, I cried. I'm no longer crying tears of desperation, but just sadness. I know that I walking where God wants me to. I prayed Proverbs 3:5-6 that God would make my path straight, and He has. And now I just walk. And I WANT to go to Israel and see what God has for me there. It has been a lifelong dream in fact. But just as I left Cal Poly filled with sadness and yet grateful that God had given me such an awesome experience to be sad about, I now give thanks to the Lord for this past year and a half.

Monday, February 12, 2007

His timing

So I asked God yesterday, " why did you wait so long to tell me to go to Israel?" Basically, "why now?" And here is what He told me (and no, not in an audible voice): That teh timing was wrong. I wasn't supposed to know until know. Not only did it take some major testing of my heart and some major heart breaking, but it was good that I didn't know in December. Both Ashlee and Danielle are coming out here and maybe they wouldn't have if they had known that I wasn't going to be here with them. But God doesn't make mistakes. God evidently has something planned for them here this next year without me. How exciting! How exciting for Ashlee and Danielle to know that God has a reason for them to be here. He could have told me earlier and I could have warned them, but He waited to tell me. I know this may all seem like too much. Like I am trusting too much that God is in control, but it's not possible to trust Him too much. He has really been the One directing this whole thing. Ashlee asked me why I didn't want to wait a year before going. And my first response was the human one. I started to tell her that I didn't know if I would have this chance next year, etc. But really, that is not the reason. The reason I am going this year and not next year is because God called me this year. He has placed so much assurance in my heart that I am supposed to go. It's crazy. I am still so nervous about raising money, about what the next 3 months will look like, but I KNOW that I am walking in the straight path that God made in my life. I prayed so earnestly Proverbs 3:5-6.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."
So there you go, He has answered my prayer, and He has shown me that He will use this to bless others, like Ashlee and Danielle.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Something New

I'm not sure how to best start this blog. So I will just say what I need to say and let you work it out as you wish. I have made some pretty big life decisions this last week. Starting with: I am leaving Chile. I am not sure if this is permanent or just a short leave, but on March 8th (more or less) I am leaving Santiago Chile for an extended period of time.
Why? Well, I am going to Israel. I still need to apply to the program, but I am fairly sure I will be joining a handful of other young Jewish Christians in a program with Jews For Jesus that will involve two months in Israel and a few weeks in India. I will give more details when I have them, but for now if you'd like to know more the website is: http://www.jewsforjesus.org/join/massah_israel.
This decision also led to another: to return home to California early to work and save some money. I am still paying off my college loans and credit card and I would like to get rid of those as soon as possible. When I come back from Israel/India, I won't be returning right back to Chile. I will take a few months to continue working, trying to undebt myself. During those months I will be praying about where to go and what to do. Please, please pray for me and these decisions I have been and will be making.
This has been one of the most emotional weeks of my life, I have cried everyday. But these are good tears (in fact, I am crying now as I type). Yes, they are tears of desperation, but I am finally surrendering myself and my future to God. God has been teaching me so much about what it means to truly trust Him, and I pray that I am faithful to my Savior.
Please pray for me.
Please pray for my time here in Chile. I still need to finish the library project and there is plenty of work left to do.
Please pray for my time with Ashlee and Danielle, the few weeks I will have with them after they arrive (around the 18th and 20th of Feb).
Please pray that God would provide an awesome Christian girl to live in the apartment in my place.
Please pray that God would work out my trip back home and provide housing and a job for my short time there.
Please pray for my support raising that I will be doing when I get back to California.
Please pray for my time with my family that I would take advantage of every moment.
Please pray that I would continue to submit myself to the Lord and that He would guide me and protect me through every step of the way.
And most importantly
Please PRAISE THE LORD for the amazing things He has done and will do in this situation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment, or email me at beckalippy@gmail.com.

Thank you for reading my blog. I don't even know who does, but I know that God has blessed me beyond measure with people who love me and pray for me. And I am so grateful.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Ode to my Rachie

Dear Rachie,

It's your birthday today, and I know how much you love poetry, and you know how much I suck at poetry, but here goes my try at a poem for you. Happy Birthday.





Sister of my spirit,
Only three years have passed since we began
this friendship of laughter and tears
We share Charlie and Toz, Don and Shane,
Anne and Brian, I love it when you read to me,
Our bathsuit dance parties in the hall,
And ballet in the kitchen, who else would do that?
Bagels and Lattes, the New Yorker,
and dancing to the fruit fly song in your room,
Sweeter times are few and far between.
You have heard me laugh.
Our friendship is more than mere laughter.



Good times are not the glue between us
For we have held each others tears,
(Poor Dan, he got involved too!)
And Hotel Rwanda should not be watched alone.
I cried for years, soaking your shoulder with my heartbreak,
And you listened so gently, letting me heal.
I wasn't always a good friend,
Our friendship wasn't perfect, it never is,
You didn't tell me what was going on,
and I talked about you behind your back,
More tears were shed, and reconciliation found.
When you in turn needed my shoulder, I was ready.
You have seen me cry.
Our friendship is stronger than tears.














More than mere laughter
And stronger than tears,
Our friendship holds the Promise of Everlasting.
We are Daughters of the same King,
We have both been so undeservingly adopted into His arms
And He has used us to teach each other,
to exhort each other, to hold each other,
But most importantly to Love each other.
I love you, sister of my spirit.



Alright Rachie, there is my attempt at poetry, it sure turned out CORNY! But to tell you the truth, I cried the whole time I typed it. You have been a huge blessing in my life, I am so grateful for our friendship and I know that distance means nothing to us. Whether we are in different parts of the world, or different stages of life (like when I meet that dark haired big nosed guy!) we will always be sisters. And for that I am forever grateful.

Dios te bendiga mi amiga, eres preciosa a mi y siempre doy gracias a Dios por tu amistad.

Tu hermana,

Becka

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

One more thing...

I know, three blogs in one day! but I thought I would share a fun fact with ya'll: I am not the only gringa in Chile. This morning on the national news station here in Chile, they reported that Pamela Anderson, the one and only way too big boobed woman, has bought a house here. They showed a video of her getting off a boat and greeting the chilean crowds(I'm pretty sure she actually flew into Chile, but boats look nicer). She was wearing a little black leather dress that more than reminded us of her assets. Hmm... she is giving us gringas such a great name, really, maybe I should call her up and take her to starbucks for a little talk about what is appropriate behavior and apparel here in Chile.

Alison

I know you are waiting for pictures, and I will put them up as soon as I get my camera back from my friend. I left it at her place in December and I haven't been able to get it back yet. But as soon as I do, pictures are on their way.

Alex

As some of you know, I tend to be fairly social. (Is that an understatement?) But because I am so social I also tend to have to compartimentalize my friends. I have friends from church, from work, from California, from childhood. Friends that I go to coffee with, friends that I go out to the bars with, friends that I see in church. I think you get the point. We all do this to some extent and I try, really try, to mix my friends. But every once in a while, I have a friend that no one really knows about. Not that I am trying to hide them, or I am embarrassed of my friendship with them, but just that no one knows them, and really knows of them. Alex is one of those. I met Alex 6 months ago at the Christian bookstore, he works there, in the Theology section. He is a student at the Baptist seminary here in Santiago and we hit it off right away. We compared not just theologians, but the different Christian publishing companies here in Latin America and which ones offer better translations, something only complete nerds would find interesting. The Christian bookstore is next to the office of a student of mine, so every week after class I would head over to browse the theology books and talk to my new buddy. Then I started bumping into Alex outside of theology. I saw him on the Metro, and on the street. And last night as I was on my jog around my new neighborhood, I ran, literally, into him again. It turns out that he lives in the on-campus apartments of the Baptist seminary, which is one block from my new apartment. I think it is time for him to come over for onces (tea time), and maybe, just a little maybe, he won't have to be quite so compartimentalized.

Rachel, Kallie, Ashlee, Danielle, and Chubs- do NOT read more into this blog than I wrote, I am not writing in morse code here. :)

Friday, February 02, 2007

Welcome to my new apartment

Last night was my first night in the new apartment. I wasn't sure if I would sleep there or not since all my things wouldn't be moved in until sunday but... I was having lunch with two friends Sam and Ricky. We decided to try out the gyro place that is right around the corner from my new place. After lunch, we went back to the apartment and ended up sitting around discussing various threads of social theology. We realized it was getting late, so we left my new apartment and went to my old apartment. Hard core, I know. While we were there, two more friends called. Timo and Pablo wanted to know if we wanted to watch a movie. (I think they probably just wanted to hang out with Sam and Ricky, you know, a guys night, but I got to be the token female.) So we all went back to my new apartment and settled ourselves in front of a chicken and french fries dinner, complete with a Piscola (like a rum and coke). Que Chileno! Unfortunatly, the DVD player had some problems so we just watched some TV. At the end of the night, the boys left me to stay in my apartment all alone. I watched a little more chilean TV and went to bed. The house is very comfortable. It isn't obstrusive or haunting in any way. Just comfortable.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My heart and other side notes

So today has been one of those days. One of those days when your journal is never close enough and all you want to do is curl up on your couch and stare at the wall, contemplating the thousands of mixed feelings running through your head. It is in these moments that I see God really working in my heart, teaching me to listen to Him, molding me into His image, letting me feel the helplessness and complete lostness that I am without Him. I have counseled girls for years on emotional integrity and trusting God with your heart. I boldly proclaimed that I trusted Him, that I had given Him my heart. But I didn't and I hadn't. Not completely at least. It's interesting that I wouldn't have known this about myself if I hadn't experienced the pain God let me walk through this last year. And now I am left with the question: will I put my trust in my Lord? Will I really surrender my heart to Him? I don't mean just trusting Him by knowing that He will provide. I am talking about being vulnerable with Him, letting Him take my heart in His hands and do with it as He pleases. It is really scary. I don't like vulnerability. I have been taught to build barriers. To construct walls around me that keep out pain. Unfortunately, my walls have never been think enough, never strong enough. I have hurt and wept and sworn to never let anyone in again. And yet, that is not the answer, is it? The answer lies not in the denial of everyone, but the invitation of One. I am not saying that I am there yet. I am not ready to really surrender, but I don't know that we ever really do. But for today, for this moment, I at least pray that I surrender. I want to be wall free. I don't want to protect my heart from Him.

Jews, Charismatic Gifts, and Ice Cream

My friend Sam sent out an email yesterday to a group of his friends proposing a get together before everyone leaves for summer vacations in February. One our friends suggested a dessert night. So last night we all got together in one of the homes and gathered around a table covered in ice cream, brownies, rice krispie treats, mms, and pie. I felt like a little kid. We all passed the different platters around as if they were normal dinner dishes. Like a 4 year olds.
There were about 10 of us and we sat around eating sweets and talking. One of the guys there, Esteban, was particularly interesting to me. I met him months ago but I have never really talked to him. I went to his church on sunday and heard that he was interested in Jews, or at least had a bunch of Jewish friends. There aren't too many Jews down here so to hear this surprised me. Last night I found out that he actually knows quite a bit about Jewish life and culture. Our conversation also covered my other favorite issues of charasmatic church and the appropriate use of Spiritual gifts within a church body. Needless to say, I highly enjoyed the night. It is mind blowing to me that just over a year ago, I didn't know any christians and I was wondering how I was going to survive in this country without a church family. God is good. He does provide.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Chess

When I was nine years old I was in the chess club at school (and I still wonder why I was never cool). Recently while on the cruise I played a few times and was reminded just how much I really like the game. So today I bought a chess set. Now I just need to find someone to play with me...

Friday, January 26, 2007

what this woman needs

I thought I would share with you the lyrics to the song I have put on repeat...

This woman who takes on the world
And picks up your shirts, keeps it together somehow
This same woman that melts with your touch
Wants you to feel what Im feeling right now
(chorus)cause this woman needs
A safe place to land
The strength in your hands
To know you know
What this woman needs
Is somewhere to cry
So lay by my side
And Ill tell you, Ill tell you
This woman needs to be reassured
That my hearts your home,
and love is what wills you to stay
I need you to see me in every light
And hear that you still think Im beautiful anyway

-SheDaisy

Death, my gain

The air seems to be filled with death. Within the last two weeks, I have received the news of three deaths. The first came two weeks ago. My friend Alister's dad died. He was a godly man who served the church for years and raised godly children who will continue that rich hertitage. Then I got an email telling me that my childhood friend Josh had died (see the previous blog). And then not more than 12 hours later I found out that my friend Eduardo's sister died in a horrible car accident. She was 25. So I went to her funeral today in Valparaiso. I wasn't going to go. I didn't want to intrude. But I went. I got a call from Sam this morning offering a ride, but that they were leaving right away. And I said yes. I went to this funeral and sat in the large dark church listening to the priest chant away, and thinking about my friend Eduardo. I couldn't imagine, or I didn't want to. If my sister...
I have been reading a book that Rach sent to me by Anne Lamott called Traveling Mercies. It is good, and not my typical book. It is refreshingly open adn a bit vulgar, and I'm addicted to reading it. I have covered 200 pages in two days. It reminds me of Jane Austen and Donald Miller. I read it and am left with a running internal commentary. I am sentimental, over analyzing, and annoyingly aware of every little detail in life. I am captured by every flower I pass by, I hear background noise that no one else seems to notice, every person seems so much more alive. More vibrant. And every pain in the world seems to fall on my head. And I will spend the next few days in this state of living poetry until work catches up with me and I silence the voice in my head. It tells me to walk slower. To breate deeper. To just sit.
I came home from the funeral and pulled out a new journal. It is a really nice jounral that Carleigh gave me for my birthday two years ago. I haven't used it because it always seemed too nice to write in. Today I wrote in it. I wrote for an hour and cried. I cried for Eduardo and the loss in his life. I cried for Josh's family. I cried for the irony in life. That things are rarely what we think they are, and usually end so differently than we want. And I cried over the loss of hope. And yet, I haven't felt any despair. I am sad though. And the sadness will pass. The Lord will restore joy. In fact, in the sadness, I still see the joy. I know my Redeeemer lives. I know that He is in control. Eduardo's sister, I don't think she had a relationship with the Lord. I don't think she had placed her trust in Him. And I don't know what God does in people's hearts as they are dying. But I know that our faith must be in the Lord and His sacrifice. Our own dealings and tryings in life amount to nothing in the end. And we choose in this life how we will spend all of eternity. I know I am stepping on toes, and some of you hate to be preached to, but you KNOW that I am a Christian. And if you are reading this blog, you seem to have some interest i who I am or what I think. Well there you go. I am a Christian. All my identity is wrapped up in Him. All my hope, all my dreams, every ounce of who I am, every fear quenched, all doubt aside, I am a follower of Christ.
If I die, please know that I died in peace. That my Lord decided to take me home to Him. Please sing at my funeral, loud. Sing How deep the Father's love for us. Please laugh. Tell stories. Please, worship the Lord for the amazing God He is. You may think I am being morbid here, okay. But in the end, when we leave the funerals, we go on with our lives. We drink coffee, we watch movies, we meet friends at parks to watch the sunset. We live.

"And I pray this, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment so that you may approve the things that are excellent in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ...
...according to my earnest expectation and hope that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. "
-The apostle Paul writing to his friends in Philippi(1:9-10, 20-21)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

This one is for you Josh

Dear Josh,
You will never read this blog. Never recieve a letter from me. Never get that phone call. You have finally joined our Savior in Heaven after faithfully serving Him for over 20 years. Josh, I don't think i have seen you for at least 4 or 5 years. I haven't been a good friend. But you have stuck with me all this time. Your example of faith and love for the Lord was monumental in my life and I will carry your memory with me forever. One of my earliest memories is with you. I was staying at your house with you and Mike. We were being babysat by some girl, who knows who. And you and Mike changed clothes. You wore his red pajamas and Mike put on your blue ones. And what a laugh we got out of the confusion. Rebekah Wertheim and I used to argue about who would tell you apart better. I never won. But Josh, I remember. I don't remember when you first were diagnosed with cancer, but I remember how skinny you got from all your chemotherapy, and how light your hair was when it fianlly grew back in. And I remember the party we had for you when you finished your chemothearpy. I remember Vera and her frienship with you and her great admiration for your family. I remember hearing about your heart failure. I remember I was at HQ and sitting in the Multipurpose room. I remember going to the bathroom and crying. I knew the Lord had blessed you with the strength to go through this, but I thought it was so unfair. Hadn't you been through enough? I remember hearing about your family. How you worried about your parents and Mike, and they in return worried about you. And it impressed me so deeply, the love your family radiated for each other and for the Lord. I remember. I remember how after so many years of your skinniness, you came back to Ingathering chubby from the medication they gave you for your heart. I remember a letter I wrote and never sent to the family of the girl whose heart you were given, thanking them. I remember your faith Josh. I remember you. I have told others about you and your family. You will never know what encouragement you have been to others, who you won't meet here in this life. But Josh, your love for the Lord was, is, and always will be obvious to me. You radiated it. And I thank you for that. I remember you Josh, and I always will.

"Only be strong and very courageous, be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you, do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go." Joshua 1:7

To Joshua Rubin, died this week

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Here is a pic of Seba and I in front of my apartment. You can really tell, but I am wearing the dress I bought the other day (see my previous blog about materialism)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

ramblings

Today I hung out with Kallie's grandparents who are in Chile for the week. I took them all around Santa Lucia, Bellas Artes, and Bellavista, and then they took me to lunch. And I have to tell you, I hope I am like them when I am their age. they are in their 70's and trekking around the world. Really cool people.
I was a little sick last night, just a fever and soreness. I don't know why I feel the need to share that with you all. I am just in a fairly random mood and feel like writing whatever I want. On that note, I have been thinking about somethings. Like our emotions and how silly and yet deep they seem. And the fact that we can't seem to control them. And yet we can't always live by them.
I have also been thinking about how I always said I want this or that kind of life. And recently, maybe out of boredom more than anything else, I have decided to just go ahead and start living it. I am tired of waiting for my life to begin. I am tired of standing by as time flies in front of me. I am so young. I can do so much. And yet something seems to hold me back. I seem to doubt my ability to live that life that I want. Or maybe I'm just scared to. Okay, I'm feeling feverish again, so I better stop writing.
May you all see art in everything you do. May you truly feel the blessing the Lord has given us in this life... to know Him.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

TAG!

So I have been tagged by Kallie (I swear this feels like a chain letter thing, oh well!). I have to share 5 little known facts about me... hmmm... considering the fact that I am generally an open book, this is a difficult task.
1. I want to get married. Oh wait! Just joking, everyone who has spent more than 5 minutes talking to me or has read this blog knows this all too well. What you don't know is that one of my deepest fears is loving someone so much and then them dying. I think I realized it a year or two ago, but I really get scared at the thought of going through that type of pain.
2. On a lighter note. I drooled all over my sister when I was nine and I had gotten my tonsils out. She still holds it against me.
3. Some of you know this... When I was at Cal Poly, I used to walk around campus talking, or really praying, on my cell phone. I would put it on silent and then put it up to my ear. I know it sounds horribly nerdy, but really folks, try it. I had some of my best conversations with God that way. (And no, He doesn't audibly answer. )
4. My mom calls me "Mooki". I am not sure where the name came from (and I'm not sure how to spell it), but it has been my nickname since I was little. And I love it.
5. hmmm... what should my last one be? When I was younger, my favorite music was "The Judds". In fact, they were the first concert I ever went to. And so began my secret love for country music.

There you go Kallie. Now I get to tag people. I tag Rachie and Keith. And if Ashlee and Danielle ever into the blogging business, you guys are up for a tag too!

Monday, January 15, 2007

material girl

Seba (a new friend I have been spending a ton of time with) asked me the other day what my favorite color is. He likes to psychoanalyze people and I like to have people psychoanalyze me, so it workds out pretty well. So he asked about my favorite color and I couldn't give hima straight answer. I said, when i am felling girly I like pink, when i am feeling hippy I like green (or when I think of Rachie), when I am feeling poetic I like deep blues and purples, and I love the brown in my eyes, I also admit that yellow and orange are my favorite when it is fall and the leaves are those colors. But then again, there is always red and white which make me feel hyper. So basically, I couldn't asnwer that question. And then he asked if I liked grey, and I thought about it... no. He told me that grey is the neutral color and basically I have just shown that I am not neutral in ANYTHING. That is probably one of the best psycholanalysis' I have ever had done on me.
So then today I went shopping. I have been in a fairly anti-materialistic mood recently, getting mad at peoples' obsessions with money, and making fun of how concerned we are with fitting into our cultures image of what is cool. But after my boss showed my schedule for this next year and told me that I need to dress professionally... humf, I guess that means shopping (I am not really THAT upset). So i went shopping today after my class and found some really good sales with some clothes that are professional, and yet still ahve some personality to them. And then I found this dress. I don't even know why I tried it on. It isn't anything I can wear to work, and I don't usually wear dresses just for fun, but I tried it on anyways and sat in the dressing room, not wanting to take it off. It is a light green emperor cut, and yet greek style dress... just nice enough for a date (cuz I go on SO many of those!), and yet almost hippy in its simplicity. So I was thinking, how can I spout off all this disdain for materialism and then find so much pleasure in a dress. And I think the balance comes in finding what makes you happy, ,what makes you feel good, what makes you feel pretty, and then enoying those things, but not getting so caught up in them that you have to buy your happiness. Finding pleasure in walking down the sidewalk that is lined with trees, in little babies laughter, in an eldery couple holding hands as they sit on a park bench... and in dresses that make you feel like a princess. So there you go.
I ended up buying the dress (it was on sale for $15) and although I know I won't wear it too often, I really really like it. So yeah. It's something my mom calls shopping therapy.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

disclaimers

I was recently talking to a fellow blogger about what it is like to blog. Now, for those of you who think blogging is easy, maybe you have never tried it. I am not talking about the pressure to use perfect grammar or spelling in a blog (we all know that I don't care about those things). I am talking about the pressure of writing to a diverse audience, and not just any audience, but a personal one. Some blogs are thoughts, but not necessarily personal thoughts. They might be the person's political, social, or even religous thoughts. But when you write a blog about your personal thoughts, like what is going on in your life, what you are experiencing, who you are meeting, that is when things get complicated. I can longer really write about what I think without the fear of hurting someone. (Does that mean that my real thoughts are hurtful? hmmm)
This blog started off for my family adn close friends to know how I am doing down here. And if you are reading this and you aren't one of those family or close friends that the blog was originally intended for, that's okay. I'm glad you are here. I don't think you'll find anything of much interest in what I have to say. But I have to confess that I am finding it harder to be real in my blog. Part of me says, what the heck, write whatever you want to write and don't take into account who is reading it. But I know that I could never do that. So I am left writing blogs that to me seem distant, ambiguous, boring. The fact that in the previous blog i felt the need to place a disclaimer half way through it shows that I am not free to say whatever I want. So I will try, for the sake of my own desire to be as transparent as possible, to be real adn honest in this blog. To tell you, the reader, what is actually going on. Even if that means exposing my heart a little more than I usually like to. I refuse to write my blogs about just my daily habits (ex. "I went to the supermarket today"). The point of this blog was established long ago, it is to be about my moments with Jesus on this adventure we call life, and that is what I will write about.

Rantings on a sunday

Today is Sunday, which means church. I went to church today and was greeted by friends I hadn't seen in quite sometime, and I sang beautiful hymns, and I heard a fairly good sermon about (what a surprise!) the Gospel. And then, like I have wanted for so long, I hung out with the people in my church. We went to lunch and then to one of the guys houses where we watched the Simpsons and played a board game. It was a group of about 12 of us. And it is what I have wanted to see happen for so long. Disclaimer: if you are a part of my church and you are reading this, which there is one person in particular I am thinking of, please don't take this blog too seriously, it is just some thoughts. I say that because I left the group kind of sad. I am not sure why. I am not sure if I was feeling lonliness, or helplessness, or sentimental, or hormonal, or all of the above. But I left the group sad. I saw the Lord bless me today and I felt sad. Odd, isn't it? I have been feeling a lot of different emotions recently, and I have not had my gringas here to listen to my rantings. Come back gringas!

Friday, January 12, 2007

My trip

So I am finally sitting down to write about my trip. I'm sorry this blog has taken so long but the business of coming home after a three week trip is large and ugly, so that had to be started before I could really sit down at ease and write. Our trip was amazing. Mom and Nigel met me in Buenos Aires as planned. We met at teh national airport where we would have just an hour or two to catch our next flight to Ushuaia. The argentinians wanted to give us a taste of their culture and did so by delaying the flight, changing the boarding gate, and then not telling us really what was going on. You have to love those argentinians!
We arrived in Ushuaia late and saved our sight seeing for the next day. That next morning after checking in with the boat, we walked around town and enjoyed some yummy comida agentina. Then we boarded. I ahve to say, I never imagined that I would love living on a boat. I actualyl found the sea quite calming. Even the hard parts were relazing to me; others were not so happy with this part of the trip.
Each day on board we had two expeditions. The expeditions ranged from visiting Cape Horn, to glacier seeing, to the penguin colony. I have to admit that I am now absolutly in love with penguins. I think they might be one of the most entertaining animals out there. Each day, we also had the chance to go to a lecture about the history of the area or the nature that we would be seeing later in an expedition. I chose to go to lectures in spanish. THe hwole trip was awesome.
One of the nest parts was the people we met on board. The crew was so nicec and really impressed with my spanish. After the trip some of them gave em their emails and told me that anytime I came down to the south, I should stay with them. The other passengers were also amazing. There was a group of about 12 youth on board and we all sat around, talking, laughing, singing kareoke, playing chess (I beat all of the other youth!), and of course- taking advantage of the open bar. My favorite drink was this champagne with raspberry flavoring, very nice. Teh sun didn't set until midnight and it rose as early as 3 or 4 in the morning, it had almost a Las Vegas effect where I couldn't tell you if it was late in the evening or not.
When we got off board, we drove out to a city called Puerta Natales, where my mom and Nigel left me for a few days as they drove up to Torres del Paine. I took advantage of my free day and spent the day hiking in some caves nearby, and reading my bible. It was nice and relaxing.
We then headed up to Santiago on a plane and drove right out to a town called Zapallar. it is a small beach town where the richest of Santiago own their summer houses. The walk along the beach the next morning was beautiful, the walkway along the shore was lined with little sculptures.
We then headed up to La Serena where we found out that we had double booked hotels there. We choose the one nearest the lighthouse and found a reastaurant to celebrate the New Year. Teh year was brought in with a 20 minute firework show, and then, being party animals, we went to bed. The next day, after a quick visit to my old spanish professor's house (Mr. Fagan from Cal Poly) we headed out to Valle de Elqui, one of my favorite places in the world. Mom and Nigel really liked it too. it seems to have an energy to it, but at the same time, it is so calming.
The next day we chilled in La Serena, downtown where I used to live. We saw the James Bond Movie, and went out to dinner at a pizzeria. Mom and Nigel went back to the hotel to sleep, and I headed to the old kareoke bar with my host mom adn sister. I got home at a nice 4am.
We were leaving for the central coast the next morning, but had to reevaluate our plans since mom got really sick. Then, Nigel got sick. We made it down to Horcon, but found the rental apartment a bit lacking. So after a day, we packed up adn headed to ViƱa del Mar. We stayed there for a few days and then after a visit to Pablo Nerudas house Isla Negra, my mom and Nigel headed to Santa Cruz (the wine country down here) and I headed to Santiago.
I met back up with them a few days later in Santiago and showed them my city. They really liked Santiago. My mom especially liked Bellas Artes (where I work) and Bellavista (where I will be spending a lot of time). Both she and Nigel agreed that Providencia where I love, is a very nice area. And my mom even went as far as to say that she thinks I should stay in Santiago and that it is one of the best cities she has visited. Thanks mom.
After some nice meals, good shopping, and good coffee talks, my mom and I hugged goodbye and she and Nigel got in a taxi and left me. It was an amazing trip and I am glad to say that my mom now knows and understands my love for this country.