Monday, January 29, 2007

Dirty Feet

I was reminded yesterday by a tried and true friend that Jesus washed Judas' feet. It was a simple statement and one that I could joke off by saying "yeah, well I'm not Jesus!" (No eye rolling). But, I've been thinking about that statement since he said it and letting it marinate in my mind.

I'm sure that Jesus looked at Judas not as potential betrayer, sinner, worthless follower, but as friend, love, companion and disciple. Jesus saw through what Judas would do and had done into his heart. Later that same night, Jesus even gives his permission to Judas to "go" and do what he needed to do. Jesus knew what was going to be done and that Judas would be the domino that started the road to Calvary.

I must admit, there are some people in my life whose feet I do not want to wash. But, I am in prayer that my attitude would be made whole, my heart made clean and that I would desire to "wash the feet" of anyone in need.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

An Emerging Story

I was involved recently in a discussion of the emerging church and the roll it may serve in our Nazarene/Wesleyan theology. The discussion was sparked by folks who are fearful of it and do not understand it – anytime we do not understand something we are prone to fear it. Unfortunately, this may cause damage and I wanted to share the Nazarene/Wesleyan perspective on emergence and its embrace within our own denomination.

There are parallels of Wesleyan theology and the emerging church in discipleship, missional focus, incarnational approach, alternative communities, preaching and teaching, worship and a generous orthodoxy. If you do not understand what these mean…ask! Please do not assume.

Not only is there room in the Church of the Nazarene and in Wesleyan theology for the emerging church, but it is needed. “Perhaps one of the greatest things the emerging church has to offer us Wesleyans is a call back to being Wesleyan,” Hal Knight. Again, if you do not understand what it means to be a Wesleyan – ask!

The Nazarene Church leadership has embraced the emergent church movement, even at the highest levels. Jesse Middendorf, General Superintendent, and Jon Middendorf, Associate Pastor at Oklahoma City First Nazarene had a “Generational Dialogue” recently at a conference about the movement. Some of their comments are below.

Jesse and Jon talked about the tension between the Church of the Nazarene and the emerging church as they see it and about the natural partnerships between the emerging church and the Church of the Nazarene that center around justice, small groups and friendships and theology. Both acknowledged the tension, but agreed that it is a healthy tension because the points of pressure revolve around re-discovering our Wesleyan roots and re-claiming what we say that we believe.

Jesse said, “One of the things I have struggled with in my ministry, one of the traditions of denominations is to say, you believe so we engage you. I want to say we engage you so you can believe.” Jon concurred that we must make friendship the end goal, not a means to an end.

The question then naturally arose, “Do you think there is room (in the Church of the Nazarene) to embrace the emerging church?” Jesse responded, “Not only room, but it would be a tragedy for us to pull out of it. I don’t think we can ever afford to not be a part of this dialogue. It is helping us.” Jon agreed and pointed out that we need to work on our language so that people see those who are emerging as “hopeless romantics”, who desire to be a part of God’s story and the Nazarene story.

The tension is real and will always be there, but they see it as a healthy tension. Jon went on to describe the relationship this way, “Maybe lions and lambs don’t lay down together until there is a lot of tension. When they first see each other until they lay down together there is a lot of angst, there must be a priority to lay down together that goes beyond what might even be instinct to go away from each other. In order to bring that picture to fruition, we’re going to have to choose to stay together in the midst of unbelievable tension. That’s what we started as a denomination that was a ‘big tent denomination’. That despite the tension we could remain together.”

Our entrance into the conversation may well be a belated, but it is definitely a beautiful and necessary voice. It is true that this is not a fundamental voice. If that is what you are looking for, perhaps look elsewhere. I am excited for what is to come and how I can personally be involved in embracing the message of emergence within my church. It is time and I believe we are the people.

Either we will emerge or we will die. I opt for the former.

For more information on the Emergent Church – check out

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Joys of Car Ownership

Today at about 7:15 am I dropped my Beetle off for an oil change and new wiper blades. It was about $50.00 total - GREAT, I thought!

At about 1:05 p.m. they call me and tell me that some canister thingee in the back that recycles gas fumes or something or other has a large hole in it - which is what is causing my check engine light to illuminate (which it has for awhile now, but as long as it's not flashing there was nothing to worry about). I said that was great - and he said "yeah it will be $510.00". WHAT - how did we get from 50 bucks to now 50 bucks PLUS 510.00! I don't have that kind of money on me - and of course, on the phone, he says that I must have this fixed or else this will happen and that will happen and I'll spontaneously combust while driving!

Sometimes, life just seems to be going along well - things are happy, life is good and then POW you get nailed with an unexpected _____________ ! (Insert your own crappy noun). I do not handle unexpected things well - I tend to get really mad and want to kick some a*#. Maybe this time, however, I can pray about it - ask the Lord for some money to fall from the sky - or grow on a tree - or my W-2's from UW could come and I could file my taxes!

Friday, January 19, 2007

It's been kind of a hard week. I feel completely overwhelmed by the amount of work in this PhD program and am praying that I did not bite off more than I can chew. I try to take it one day at a time, one assignment, paper, discussion question, reading at a time but it's hard.

However, today at work I found a rather large error that I made - it wasn't an error per se, it was a posting of some account information but it made my co-workers reports all off because of the dates I used. I felt really bad and, if you know me you know I thought I was going to get fired (not really..but for better or worse, I go there). Anyway, I was talking to Blair, our superintendent, and he was so encouraging. He told me he knows that I was the best choice for this job and that he thinks I have a long career there and that he looks forward to many great years with me working there. He appreciates my contribution and knows that God sent me to them. It was really nice to hear. My direct boss is retiring soon (where have I heard that before?) and he was talking about all the possibilities available. He said "we will soon make this job exactly what you want it to be."

That was a great opening for me to ask for 4-10 hour days, but I didn't, not yet. My hope is to work closely with the development of the coffee house para-ministries and I feel to do this, I'll need one full day there at least. It is still early and I have lots of time to figure that out.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I Won!

I won a blog contest...I won a 2 CD set of music that is being mailed to me as we speak!

Here is the blog I won from -

I wonder if I should give a speech?

This is what blogging should be about - uplifting and giving.

Thanks Jen and thanks CW for leading me her way! Worth the read!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Dangerous Unselfishness

If you have never heard Dr. King's "Mountaintop" speech, I encourage you today to's not long. He gave this speech in Memphis the night before he was killed. Here are some excerpts:

"because the world is all messed up. The nation is sick. Trouble is in the land; confusion all around. That's a strange statement. But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars. And I see God working in this period of the twentieth century in a way that men, in some strange way, are responding.

And also in the human rights revolution, if something isn't done, and done in a hurry, to bring the colored peoples of the world out of their long years of poverty, their long years of hurt and neglect, the whole world is doomed. Now, I'm just happy that God has allowed me to live in this period to see what is unfolding. And I'm happy that He's allowed me to be in Memphis.

Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!
And so I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man! Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!"

The speech in it's entirety may be found here:

Let's reflect (and work!) today and everyday how we can continue Dr. King's work to bring God's children everywhere out of poverty and oppression.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Thanks for a great season!

Despite the final score, I was very impressed with how the Seahawks played today. Their defense was amazing and I'm glad that Lofa Tatupu & Julian Peterson are going to the Pro-Bowl. I think that Jordan Babineaux deserved to go as well, but perhaps next year. Now, they can take the off-season to get healthy and all of you won't have to hear me talk about them until at least July/August.

I have decided to be on the "list" for season tickets. My friends Kathryn and David have also decided to commit to the list. We put our money down and now we wait...and wait...and wait. I am hoping that something comes up as it sure would be fun to have tickets. I'm still waiting to hear on how the whole process works and where we are on the list. We had to put some money down, but it all goes toward ticket purchase.

Just imagine, next year, seeing all the home games in person! I'm so excited for that!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Friday, January 12, 2007

Official...I guess

I got my diploma in the mail today. It's nice - I think I'll frame it. I need to find my other diploma and frame that as well. I suppose I find a lot of self-esteem in having these pieces of paper - since I don't have a lot to begin with, it's nice to have some affirmation that perhaps I can stick with something to completion.

I have sat on the couch more this past two days than I can remember. Having two extra days off may seem like a dream, but after awhile, it gets pretty mundane - plus Monday is a holiday! There's only so many epidodes of Law & Order and Judge Judy I can handle before I go stir crazy. There are also only so many blogs I can read before I say to myself "how did I get here?" I do enjoy reading them.

I'm going to a wedding tomorrow. It's someone from work and I'm going with a friend from work. I hope the weather is o.k. I would usually be excited, but for some reason, I don't really want to go. Perhaps I'm afraid the dent I've worked hard to create in my couch these past two days may actually fill up.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Winter Wonderland


There is about 4 inches of snow at my house and it's still snowing at 8:28 p.m. Another day off tomorrow! (I hope).

I am not a fan of reality television. I know I'm missing a huge piece of Americana but there are a lot of things I'd rather watch than bug eating, wife swapping or racing thru Africa. However, I made an exception tonight and watched Armed & Famous. Big mistake. It's probably the dumbest show I've ever seen. However, I will have to say I'm proud of Jack Osbourne. He is on the show and talked a little bit about his struggle and how he has come around. He talked about what an idiot he was and how he is excited for this opportunity. I don't know why, but it was impressive.

LaToya has cried at least four times. Pathetic!

Oh well, just thought I would confess that I watched this show. Now I'm going to watch some quality t.v. like Charlie's Angels from 1979!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Enough Said!

God Moments

I had a God moment yesterday and it was reaffirmed today again.

I was with some friends last night at dinner and we were talking about how we can change the world (or our section of the world). My friend says "I wish we could buy a cheap motel."

For years, I've been driving by a closed motel called The Chinook on MLK way toward the freeway. In it's hayday I'm sure it was a nice enough little place, but now it's run down and gross. It has potential, however.

Each time I drive by I pray about that place and wonder how I could get it and turn it into a really cool Delancy St or transitional housing for single moms, etc. I pray specifically for that place each time I drive by. So last night when my friend mentioned this, I immediately had to tell him the Chinook story.

Then, today in another blog that I read, he was talking about how there is all kinds of abandoned, run-down shelter, (The Chinook) that could easily be used to help people. It was another moment that got me thinking about the funny motel.

I'm just a single gal who works for a living and wants to serve Jesus daily - how can I get a run-down motel and turn it into something?? So, I ask, Lord...what do you want me to do with these moments?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

They're gone

Although I do not like to think about it, my sister and bro-in-law left today. It is an empty feeling yet again, although one I should be used to by now. I'm tired of them being gone. I'm tired of not seeing them for 9 months at a time. I really love how much my bro-in-law loves football - and how we can have an entire conversation about it and when I get some stat or player wrong, he NEVER makes me feel dumb, cheap, stupid or ugly. I appreciate that about him. Plus, he LOVES college football too (Hokey).

Damn Kuwait for being so far away. (sorry mom). The picture above is Camp Arifjan - where they both work.

By the way, I'm reading a really good memoir by Mary Ann Tirone Smith called Girls of Tender Age. I highly recommend getting it from the library.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy Reading Year

I've decided that instead of making New Year's resolutions, I will read books that have to do with what I may resolve at some point - since I can then combine my love of reading with making resolutions.
Here are the books I would like to read this year (aside from school books which are required reading-boo hoo).
Maybe a bloggers book club is in order??

1. You on a Diet - the Owner's Manuel for Waist Management. Michael Roizen & Mehmet Oz.
2. The Omnivore's Dilemma - A Natural History of Four Meals. Michael Pollan
3. The 8:55 to Baghdad: From London to Iraq on the Trail of Agatha Christie and the Orient Express. Andrew Eames
4. Mao: The Unknown Story. Jung Chang
5. Eragon. Christopher Paolini
6. On the Beach. Nevil Shute
7. Thunderstruck. Erik Larson
8. Thirteen Moons. Charles Frazier
9. The Openness of God: A Biblical Challenge to the Traditional Understanding of God. Clark Pinnock

That should keep me busy for a year. If anyone has anything else to add please do-there is a new one about Darwin that also looks fascinating, The Reluctant Mr. Darwin.

Have a great start to 2007, and happy reading!

About Me

I work at a Christian School district only 4 miles from my home. The people there are full of grace and love and I am glad to be a part of this ministry. I have a neice and nephew whom I love dearly. They are 12 and almost 15 respectively. I have two amazing sisters and two amazing brothers-in-law. Of course, I would not be here if it were not for my mother agreeing to marry my dad. Good going mom! My parents are my life and I would literally be NOTHING without their unconditional love, support and care. You rock mom and dad. Then there's Will & Lora...their giggles are like sunshine and their parents crack me up too.

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