Sunday, February 24, 2008

almost forgotten, never



One last picture.
Joel is awkwardly waving. But I heard that awkward is "in" now. So good job Joel, always so cool.
Stephen, I dedicate this photo to you. :) Thanks for the talk last night. It sent me thinking and examining what we are doing. I appreciate your honesty and frankness on the issue.
PS- the only other picture I have of you is kinda awkward. And not the cool awkward like Joel, the old school awkward.

Our Student Association Meeting


Our fearless leader Ben, very pensive




paying attention, I swear




We were a little tired...

Some beautiful WTS ladies


Laura, our hostess


Making cornbread


Lydia from Uganda

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Mercy Update

So this semester is about Mercy. That is the common theme in almost all my classes. What does it mean that the Lord loves mercy and justice? How is the Church supposed display those cares of the Lord upon this earth in which we live? I have always struggled with this topic. I remember in high school organizing blanket drives for the homeless in SF and in college I toyed with the idea of going homeless for a year in an attempt to love and reach the many men and women of SF who have no roof over their head. I have never known how far I am supposed to go. Should I sell all my possessions? I don't have much, seriously, but I do have something and that is more than 90% of this world's population. And really, the hippy in me would almost prefer to live that life that is less connected to the material things. I don't want to walk along Plato's path of the ultraspiritual life, but I can't take this culture's obsession with the things. What sunglasses do you wear? What car do you drive? Do you have this? Do you have that? In how many colors? Ugh. It makes me tired. There is no point in all this.

This is not to say that there isn't something about creation and how we, being made in the image of God, like to create. That is such a blessing and should be encouraged. But we have moved very far from the enjoyment of aesthetics and into being immorally materialistic.

This leads me to question how the church is living. Yesterday, I spent the snow day at the coffee house across the street with a classmate and his 4 month old daughter (so cute!) I wrote a paper on this whole topic of the church and her responsibility to the world around her. And I haven't found any cognative rest on this issue, but in reading To Live in Peace by Mark Gornik I got some clarity on the issue. He walked through the passage Jeremiah 29.

I will write more on this later. I just want to open up the subject and I am sure as this subject unfolds and I find myself understanding these ideas a little better, I will share with you all.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Valentines lamentations

This post actually isn't lamenting anything. I just feel the need to respond to the few comments I got from my lack of valentines day posting. I spent this vday quite happy. In fact, feb. 14th was just like feb. 13th and feb. 15th. The joy of singlehoood extended even through the traditionally horrible day. And I found myself easily content to appreciate the day from afar.
I was resolved NOT to react to vday. No "single's awareness day", no girl's night out. I didn't need to pretend to be okay with my singleness, because I actually was. My attitude toward the day was that it was a day for lovers. So if you weren't in that category, it wasn't a holiday for you. No need to be all upset about it, it just wasn't for me. I'm not Chinese, I don't celebrate the Chinese New Year. Someday, if I marry a Chinese man, I probably will celebrate it. But for now, there is no reason to. Same with Valentines day. No point in me celebrating it. Not necessary.
I was really blessed with peace on this issue. Two of my girlfriends asked if I would be their valentine. That means nothing. We single girls get a friend to be our "valentine" so we can say that we have one. Not because it means anything more than that. Ridiculous. I refuse to let our culture (and Hallmark) tell me that I am any less off because I don't have someone to call my Valentine.
So no one was my valentine (except my dad who got an ecard from me- he'll ALWAYS be my valentine!). And it's okay. Girls, don't let this world tell you that you need to be upset about being single on valentines day. Please, remember that the day is NO different than any other and that if we have joy on the 13th, that joy is the same for the 14th. Find your identity in Him. Not in being a wife or mother, or any other role we may play in this life. HE is the giver of all life and only through Him can we experience life. Stop waiting for the guy to come into your life! Enjoy this moment you have with God. Truly enjoy it. For a moment take the husband question out of the equation, and just enjoy this time with your Lord and Savior.

Where am I going? (some ramblings)

My friends tease me about my lack of identity. Or, I guess a better way of describing the problem, is that I feel very latina, but I am also very comfortable in the black culture. I love the inner city and yet find myself drawn to the hippy life. And then I have part of my identity tied into my Jewish heritage roots. I have moments in which I think I could live in a black neighborhood for forever, and then I hear a reggeaton song and I am sure that I couldn't live without the part of my personality that is very latina. And then Passover comes and there is no question of my celebrating it. How can I so completely identify with three such distinct cultures? And how do I reconcile these different aspects of my personhood?
I think my mom struggled with this in some way. I know she is very artistic, a poet and song writer. But also a scientist. She found a job that allows her creativity in science. I hope I find a place I can fit. I feel really torn. I loved the latina culture in Chile, and yet I remember missing hip hop. Ashlee and I would put on Ciara and dance our hearts away. The thought of living sin espanol, me da pena (without spanish, gives me pain).
I guess all of this is a part of growing up and figuring out who you are. But my experiences have given me too much, and I find myself loving all these different cultures and not knowing which one I live in.
Which brings me to another thought. I heard the head of foreign missions of the OPC church speak yesterday. He was talking about the struggles and challenges of foreign missions and as he was sharing I realized that my understanding of my call is very different than what he was talking about. I want to live in other countries. And I want to do ministry. It is much more of a natural thing for me. Maybe I am wrong in my approach, but when I move somewhere I want to be a part of that culture. I can't say what others are called to, but when I was in Chile, I was not just some outsider. I was chilena (or so I like to think). I was not an expat, I was not a missionary- I was just someone who wanted to live there in that country. Who loved the country. And who loved Jesus.
I guess I am just trying to figure out where I am going.
Funny, I always end up here.


Dios te bendiga!

Monday, February 11, 2008

It's frEEzing!

According to weather.com, it is currently 16 F and feels like 0 F!!!
And it gets better, tomorrow there is a "high" of 26F.
Man, oh man, what did I get myself into???

Saturday, February 09, 2008

A new look

Don't freak out- this is still my blog. I just needed some color to look at since all I see outside is grey. This whole winter thing is hard for me to handle. :)

My kids!

The kids at the preschool where I teach Spanish performed a poem in Spanish for Martin Luther King Jr. Day . Here are some some photos of the darlings.



Look at these beautiful ladies!


Serious heartbreakers!


Getting organized on stage


and performing brillantly!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

SPRING SEMESTER

So here is the line up of my classes for Spring Semester here at Westminster:

Church planting and church growth
Mercy ministry and mission
Contextual Theology
Gospel Communication (Intro to Preaching)
Biblical Interpretation
Urban Mission Seminar
Biblical Theology II

Yeah, count them- 7 classes!! This semester is going to be tight, but good. I have some really interesting classes lined up. I'll keep ya'all posted.