Friday, September 25, 2009

new take on an old classic

I just came across these guys tonight, and I'm honestly very impressed. They call themselves Pomplamoose, which is French for grapefruit... Her voice reminds me a little bit of Regina Spektor and a lot of Ingrid Michaelson. You should check out some of their videos on youtube -- both the covers and the originals are great!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

more praises

11. a good book to read for class
12. a full belly
13. Summit coming up soon!
14. chapel today being encouraging
15. getting to reminisce about Europe with Shaun
16. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
17. deep, rich colors
18. my bike
19. loan money in my bank account!
20. smiles

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

the gaze of God

For those of you who might wonder what in the world God is up to in your life...

"Perhaps the gaze of God is like the gaze of the artist on the completed painting. Each and every pigment is discrete, and no mark is laid down carelessly; yet this green would not be present in its particular greenness were it not for this blue laid down at some time next to it. Each brush stroke has been laid down, one by one; yet when the painting is complete, we apprehend it in a single vision. But the painting is not 'time-free'; rather, it is a condensed temporality. We gaze on it as on a complete and consummated whole bearing all the marks of its making. People might be like this under the attentive gaze of love."

- Janet Martin Soskice in The Kindness of God: Metaphor, Gender, and Religious Language

Monday, September 14, 2009


No, I'm not confused as to the time of the year, though the rain and cooler days that we've had in Abilene this past week might have made me think that it was about time for some turkey! Rather, I've just had it on my heart recently to work on developing a more outspoken attitude of thankfulness. So, thinking back to the days of the RFC email thankfulness lists, here's a list of my own for the day:

1. a beautiful evening on a blanket at the disc golf course, reveling in God's presence
2. great class discussions today
3. food to eat -- it's time for a snack, and I have the luxury of eating one!
4. three wonderful roommates
5. neighbors who continually knock on our door because our witness of generosity and kindness has encouraged them to
6. getting to talk to all of my grandparents throughout the past few days
7. snickerdoodles
8. cookies in general -- I'm an equal opportunity cookie devourer.
9. the challenge of contemplating the things I've been learning
10. a wonderful new church and new friends there!

What about you? What are you thankful for in your life? How has God blessed you today?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

walking on a rainy afternoon

catching up

So for those of you who might still be anxiously awaiting to hear how my first day of school went (two and a half weeks ago...), sorry 'bout that. I know you've been on the edge of your seats, checking at least every hour to see if I've updated you yet, right?
It's amazing how quickly time passes here, when there's always something to do, whether that's reading for class, meeting new friends and getting to know them, or enjoy my few moments of downtime when I can get them. So, though blogging has been relatively high on my priorities list, I just hadn't made it there yet. Til now.

I'm sure you'll pick up on this in what follows, but just to summarize: I'm loving it!

I've got three wonderful roommates -- Deanna, Olivia, and Kaylynn. I'm having a great time getting to know the three of those girls, and they've been so much fun to hang out with. We'll cook dinner together every once in a while and watch an episode or two of various TV shows that we're all fans of. They're amazing, and I definitely thank God for brining us together!

Here are a couple of pictures for you of my side of the room I'm sharing with Kaylynn.

We're in a cute little house just a block or so off campus (down the street to the west of University Church of Christ, for any of you who might be familiar with Abilene). It's a great location, not just because it's so close to campus, but also because we've got some of the guys from the GST (Graduate School of Theology) living just down at the other end of the street, and they're a lot of fun to hang out with. Just last night, in fact, they hosted their annual GST cookout, and there were probably around 100 people there. Definitely a good time!

So as far as churches, well, I thought it would take me a while to find a place that I felt comfortable, but that actually happened the first Sunday in town. I'll probably check out a few other places still, but as I do, I'm planning to attend HOPE Church of Christ, which is a smaller, more informal congregation than I've been accustomed to, and that's exactly along the lines of what I was looking for. They meet on Sunday nights instead of Sunday mornings for worship, so that'll give me a chance to visit some other places on Sunday mornings as well. Anyway, my roommate Deanna goes there and introduced me to it, and I immediately felt like a part of their family. Not only that, but I was able to truly worship from the heart for probably the first time in years, or at least what seems like years. Right now the church is in the process of relocating, from a warehouse that they've been in for the past few years, to a storefront location which they're renovating themselves. I've gone to help out with the finishing touches (painting, outlet covers, etc.) a couple of times, and it's amazing what they've done to transform that place. We'll be moving in around the beginning of October, and we're all excited!

And classes... the main reason I'm here in the first place. I can't really describe to you how happy I am to be here and how much I am enjoy my work!! You may think I'm crazy for having fun doing Greek homework and reading about systematic theology, and that's fine. Maybe I am. But I'm okay with that because I'd rather be crazy and happy than sane and miserable, I suppose. :)

Foundations of Theology of Ministry is way too long of a name for a class, but it's a great class, nonetheless. It's a new introductory class that's just being taught for the first time this semester, with Jeff Childers at the helm. So at the moment, we're reading things about how to think theologically, and we're doing exercise to familiarize ourselves with different aspects of GST life (the library, study habits, talking some about spiritual disciplines). It's not a heavy workload, and it's been a good class to help us first year students get to know one another a bit better. And Jeff's great. He's got such a wonderfully dry sense of humor that I cherish. He's an amazingly smart guy, but he's also got such a heart for ministering to his students and helping us in our journey of spiritual formation. That's something that can be said about nearly everyone here at ACU (if not everyone), and it makes me so thankful to be here.

I'm also taking beginning Greek with Ken Cukrowski, which has been really good so far. I've taken a year and a half of Greek before, but it was five years ago that I finished it up, so I decided to start at the very beginning (Sound of Music, anyone??) again and get a good review, since I'd forgotten so much. So at the moment, it's a relatively easy class for me, though I know there will come a point in the not-too-distant future at which I'll have to actually start studying. It's great to get back into a language again. Something I've missed. And Ken's also a great teacher who makes what can be a very difficult and frustrating experience for many into one that's still challenging but enjoyable and not overwhelming.

And my favorite class... Systematic Theology I with Fred Aquino. Now I'm not quite sure yet if I'm enjoying this class because I may have some potential for theology or in spite of the fact that I don't have any potential for it, and I just don't realize it yet. It's one of those classes where I think I'm understanding what I'm reading and how the discussion goes, but it could be that I'm just so completely lost that I don't even realize how lost I am. Make sense at all? The class is definitely a challenging one on many levels. To start off with, there's plenty of reading to do. Thankfully, this last week was the heaviest as far as reading (with a 300 page book for the week), and it'll slow down a tiny bit on that in the future. But it's also challenging in that when we're finished with our marathon three-hour-long class on Monday afternoons, I'm not sure I can think or talk straight because my brain's been challenged to wrap itself around so many various aspects of an idea or an argument. And that's one reason why I'm loving it! And I definitely enjoyed the reading for last Monday's class. That 300 page book, "Canonical Theism," was amazing. Not yet sure exactly where I fall on everything it was discussing, but it had some very powerful things to say to Christendom today. And I have a lot of respect for Fred. He's a man who has been gifted with an amazing intellect which he pushes to its furthest reaches in order to serve God and the church. He's misunderstood by many, but what he pursues and stands for is truth, even when it flies in the face of our comfortable traditions and misunderstandings. I think I can learn a lot from him.

Well, there's more to be said, but that'll have to wait for another time. I've got to go finish getting ready and then head to grad chapel. It's a weekly Wednesday occurrence, often followed by lunch at one place or another, and I've already come to treasure that time in worship and fellowship with my fellow students and my instructors. And today I'll be reading a poem and leading a prayer. So, off to dry my hair I go! Later!