Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Top 10 Breakup Songs

I compiled this list of some of my favorite songs to listen to when being heartbroken. Some of them are good to listen to (#6, #4) and some of them only get a few minutes airtime because they do more damage than good (#9,#7). In any case, enjoy!

10. Take a bow- Leona Lewis
9. I hate everything about you- Three Days Grace (or maybe I just like the title)
8. Behind these Hazel Eyes- Kelly Clarkson
7. Unbreak my heart- Toni Braxton
6. Flightless Bird, AMerican Mouth- Iron and Wine (After watching Twilight, I kinda just left this song on repeat in my ipod. Has nothing to do with a breakup, but it reminds me of the movie and I feel happy)
5. White Horse- Taylor Swift
4. Moving on- Rascal Flatts (my theme song more often than not)
3. Knock you down- Keri Hilson (I know it's not really about a break up, but I still like it)
2. What hurts the most- Rascal Flatts
1. Better in Time- Leona Lewis

Monday, August 24, 2009

JJ, my sister, my friend

Every once in a while you find someone who understands the deepest stirrings of your heart, who is asking the same questions as you, whose words seem to be your own. I want to share with you today a very special artist who is such a person to me. I discovered JJ Heller some while back, and was soon entrenched in her music. Her songs bring tears to my eyes. They are water to my soul. And I am excited for the day when I meet her (even if it's in heaven) and get to thank her for her songs.
If you have a chance, listen to some of her music, read some of her lyrics, and let her songs minister to your heart. Here is one that I often enjoy getting stuck in my head.

Cardboard cutouts on the floor
People wish that you were more like what they wanted you to be
Eventually they won’t have much of you at all in their theology
The walls are closing in on you
You cannot be contained at all

I don’t want to make you small
I don’t want to fit you in my pocket
A cross around my throat
You are brighter than the sun
You’re closer than the tiny thoughts I have of you
But I could never fathom you at all

Broken moldings all around
Broken people hit the ground
When they discover that you’re not here for our benefit
You love in spite of us
You use the least of us to prove the strong
aren’t really strong at all

Friday, August 21, 2009

My precious treasures

One of my favorite things to do is to organize my things. This is probably one of the reasons I don't mind moving around so much. Today I had the chance to spend the day with one of my favorite things to organize... my books. I have had an odd attachment to my library for years, and it was heart ripping to leave many of my books in Chile. In seminary, I was overjoyed to add volume after volume to my slowly growing collection. It was the one thing I let myself spend money on without feeling guilty. I could buy any book that was required for class. That has now left me with quite a collection of books. I parted with 30 or 40 books. I gave them to good homes. The rest of my library, a good 50 to 60 volumes are now sitting in boxes in my dad's garage. I went through them today, pulling out the ones that I want to read in the next few weeks, and the few that made the semi final cut to my suitcase for Korea. How does one choose from so many treasures? THere are some books that I love deeply (especially my Edersheim) but I know that they are too big and heavy to carry over there with me. And when I am honest with myself, I probably won't use them there over the next year. If I end up in Korea long term, I can send them over. But for now, I tuck them into their boxes for safe keeping. For someone who doesn't have many belongings and seems to be on the less materistic side, I love and treasure my books. They are in many ways, my guilty pleasures.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Too much to handle

Today was quite a day, and now I am paying for it with a stomach ache. I started feeling nauseous about an hour ago, and when I thought back on my day, to what could possibly have made me sick, I realized that I totally beat up my body today. I started out the day at 5:30am at Peet's coffee house. I had my first 12 ounces of wonderful brew. At 8am, I dropped my dad off at the office and took his car on a little roadtrip. After a quick stop to see my mom and Nigel, I drove up to Davis where I met up with Victoria, an old family friend. It was then that I had my next 16 ounces of coffee. This time iced. After a lovely time catching up, I drove into downtown Davis to meet my brother. We had sushi. Now, those who know me, know that this is a moment in and of itself. I have never been one to eat fish, much less raw fish. But recently, I have ventured into the land of seafood. So Jeremy and I got sushi. We shared some California rolls, some philly rolls and some sashimi (yellowtail and salmon).
After all that, I walked Jeremy to his office and on the walk back I realized that I might be getting dehydrated. So when I stopped to fill up the gas tank, I filled myself up on a water bottle. All that was left to do was drive the hour plus to get back to my dad's office. The problem was that for whatever reason, driving today was really intense to me. Ususally I love driving. I love long car trips where I can turn up the radio and roll down the windows. But today was no such pleasure. For whatever reason, I felt really tense driving.
So when I finally arrived at my dad's office an hour and change later, I breathed a sigh of relief. So am I surprised that all the caffeine and raw fish, mixed with high temperatures and intense driving conditions, left me sick to my stomach? Not at all.

Monday, August 17, 2009

where have all the preachers gone?

I'm sorry to do this, but I need to rant.
I recently heard a sermon (if that's what you want to call it, I think the church refered to it as a "message"). It was heart-breaking (and pretty boring!). It was on money and how to make big money decisions. The guy who preached is a veteran pastor of 25 years and has recently accepted a full time position at a seminary as a professor of Theology. If anyone should be able to bring a solid sermon, it's this man. Sadly, the sermon was more about his own family's financial situation than the Gospel. I learned a few things from him, like how much his shirt cost, how much he gave his daughter as a wedding budget, and how much of a pay cut he took to be a seminary professor. While he did have a three point sermon, as all good sermons should be, it was really only the last point that had anything to do with Jesus. He talked, all too briefly, about the way Jesus brings a new perspective on money. He reflected on Zacchaeus in Luke 19:2-10 and how he gave away so much, even though Jesus didn't ask him to. Ok... I can follow that. Jesus does transform the way we view money. But that needs to be unpacked a whole bunch more. What does the Bible say about posessions in general? What about poverty? What does God command His people to do with the poor? Don't just brush over these issues! I thought about how this sermon might sound to Christians in the third world. I thought about how this might sound to rich Christians. And more than anything, I sat there in the church, crying inside for the Gospel. I am in need of the Gospel. I crave it. (and will probably need to go online to find it). There is not a person who walks this earth who doesn't need to hear it. Oh Church, where are your preachers?
While my BA in Communication Studies gave me a great appreciation for a great public speaker, and I think any pastor should take seriously the manner in which he shares the Word, there is something of even greater importance than good illustrations and clear outlines. Maybe Westminster ruined me, making me believe that the Gospel must be central to call things. That sermons should be expositional, and only rarely topical. That the idea that Christ is center of all things, "Christotelic" for you nerds out there. Oh WEstminster, how you have ruined me. But it isn't just WEstminster that ruined me. It was the past 6 years of good preaching. In some circles, the term "administration of the Word" floats around, reminding us that preaching is more than a pep talk, so much more than three easy ways to get out of debt. Indeed, the purpose driven person, going to the purpose driven church, living out a purpose driven life, better not forget that it is in Christ that we have our way and our being, and that the righteousness of our lives is to be a reaction to what God has already done through the cross. Oh Church, where are your preachers?
How can Christians live if they are not being fed on the Word of God? How can communities go out and preach Christ crucified, risen, and coming again if we don't hear it ourselves. Oh preachers, take not lightly the task before you! You have been bestowed with the greatest honor of all. We beg you to preach the Word, tell us about Christ. Yeah sure, you can tell us how His life, death, and resurrection will transform the way we spend our money. But please don't give us flimsy lists of good values to have in life. We need more! We need Christ. Don't you see? If our lives go south, think of the story of Job, where will we turn? Surely not the great little common sense values that you have been giving us. No, it will be on nothing less than Christ and His Righteousness.
Oh Lord Jesus, make us bold in Your Word!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

What would you do?

What would you do if you had all the time in the world? What are those things you say you wish you had time for but never do? And would you really do them if you had the chance?
For me, the number one thing is reading. There are so many books that I say I wish I had time to read, I complain abut my busy schedule and long for the days when I had the freedom to just curl up on the couch and enjoy a good book. But when vacation actually comes, do you do those things? Or do you find yourself putting them off for the next vacation?
I'm facing this very question. I am going to be staying at my dad's house for the next month or so. What do I do with all the free time on my hands? I have 8 or 9 boxes of books that I could go through, half of them have barely been touched. I could work on my writing, since as evidenced by my blog, I love to write but could use a little work on the art of writing. I could volunteer at a local organization, especially seeing as my masters is in urban ministry and I am next to San Francisco. I could hang out in my dad's neighborhood which is almost all Mexican and practice my Spanish before I go to a country where no one will speak it.
Or I could do nothing but lie out in the sun and sleep.
I think the answer lies in the middle somewhere. I plan on continuing my Korean lessons since that seems like a pretty important part of moving to Korea. But other than that, I think I will do a little of all of the above.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Some blogs to read....

For those of you blog lovers... I found a few girls who teach at SEA (where I will be teaching). These two just arrived, so we will all be pretty new together.



And this is the blog of a girl who has taught at the school for a while and is now heading home.


where I belong

I'm back. I know it's been over a month since I've posted anything. I just needed some space. I'm slowly moving back towards blogging. I have a few posts stored up in my head that I'd like to share with you my friends.
A quick update. Things are in full swing for me to move to Korea. I accepted a job in Seoul with Sarah's English Academy. I heard about this school from a friend at WTS named Jungyo. So I sent over my resume, interviewed on the phone and was offered a job teaching their elementary classes. I'll be moving there mid Sept and have already started obsessing over my new country. I picked up two "learn Korean fast" books and have been surfing every expat website I can find. So far, I know how to say "hello", "goodbye", and "give me one beer please". I'm not joking. One of the very first things that the book taught was how to order soju at a bar. Soju is evidently the national liquor and while I doubt it will ever replace pisco in my heart, I'm excited to try out my Korean in a bar.
Besides working on getting my visa (what a thought going to a country and legally working!) I have been hanging out at my mom's house, my dad's house, or visiting friends. While it's been difficult to not finish each day knowing that I accomplished something, I've enjoyed the chance to catch up on my reading. It isn't possible to go straight to Korea (gotta wait for the visa) and I know that there may be few opportunities to just rest, relax, and visit friends.
So here I am, sitting on a Tuesday afternoon in a funky little coffee shop in Berkeley. I love California and I'm so glad my parents live here. It will always be home to me. But I love looking at a globe and knowing that each square mile of land is filled with culture, history, life. Korea is next on my journey. Who knows if it will be a long term thing, or just a short year. Either way, I am deeply blessed to be here now. I know the past 26 years have been guided by the Lord's hand and especially after this last season, I hold confidently to the knowledge that He carries me each day.

ps- Thanks to my mom for buying me an adorable netbook to take with me to Korea. It has a camera on it, so I will try to post more photos. Make life more interesting. Good stuff!