So i was thinking about my post from last night–the one about the lady who pissed me off….but seriously? Who am I to say she’s right and I’m wrong? I don’t know if I can ever really say for sure what Jesus would and would not do. Who am I to say who God is and what He really cares about… but then I go and form my own lousy opinions and only end up putting Him in a different box of another color and shape. Maybe I’m just as offensive with my opinions? Who am I to say I’m any more “enlightened” than she is? These are some Zao lyrics that have been my prayer before when I felt like the worst failure ever…and I was reminded of these words as I pondered this last night. The song’s called Ember

My sight finally returns only to see my hands covered with the innocent blood of those I stand before as an example. And I hold this ember in my heart: It reminds me of who I once was. It’s the only warmth that I know. Ember of Your faithfulness; Ember of Your still small voice; Ember of embracing arms; Ember of rebirth to You my King. I offer up this ember for the wind of Your Spirit to consume:  Consume by fire.

Purge their blood from my hands 

 

You know when you find a scab or scar–or even better, a bleeding cut on some part on your body and you don’t know what happened? Why your bleeding? How you got that scar? I kinda love that! But the curiosity kills me!! 

this just happened to me  

There’s this lady who comes into Peet’s who goes to some church here in Portland that entertains about 3000 people between it’s several services in a weekend. She is a K-LOVE (christian radio) “ambassador” and is spreading tracks and paraphernalia for her church like it’s making a difference. She’s given several of my coworkers cd’s to borrow–like Mercy Me, Casting Crowns, and Derek Bruster…something like that. She trapped me one day when we were slow to talking to her for about an hour. I told her about my church–and the fact that I’m a staff member here. I told her about my house and how much I love being here…but since her church averages more than 3000 and mine averages around 100, she thinks her church is better than mine and I should join her “team” and come to the college aged service at her church because of how state of the art it is and for how it’s like a rock and roll concert every friday night. She is very judgmental and abrasive the way she handles “evangelism” and it was embarrassing watching her try to pressure my friends/coworkers into coming to church too.I’m not trying to say her church is all bad or whatever, and I’m not saying that she’s not well-intended, but for Christ’s sake, I was so embarrassed to be associated with her today. When she left, one of my coworkers said, “There she goes! Going to kick some ass and conquer the world! And Jesus has got her back!” Of course he was kidding…but I couldn’t help but say, “No he doesn’t!”I had to apologize to them because of what a turn off she is to the gospel of love and unity and grace that I’ve experienced. They could see the difference between me and her, but they also couldn’t help but lump me together with her because we both fell underneath this huge umbrella called “christian.” It ended up being a great/breakthrough conversation between several of us—but it also broke my heart to think about the path of destruction she’s leaving “in jesus’ name.”I hate to sound cynical, but I just had to get this off my chest. I hope i don’t come across too heretical.      

I didn’t capitalize “christian” in the title of this blog on purpose. 

Today I arrived at work (Peet’s Coffee & Tea), not too particularly excited to be there. It was kind of a weird morning–one of those ones that happens about once every month when everyone in my house is gone before 9am–which is when I usually wake up. Since I didn’t have to be at work until 3, I just decided to get some stuff done around the house, do some laundry, and maybe go for a bike ride or watch a movie. Turns out, I watched a movie which was probably a bad choice. For one, I didn’t particularly enjoy the movie (Year of the Dog), and I felt lazy and I really should have gotten out to enjoy the beautiful spring weather. 


Anyways, it had been a weird morning, I was feeling fairly lethargic, and I wasn’t particularly excited to be at work for various reasons–when my poor attitude was interrupted by an encouraging note left in my locker by a fellow co-worker. It was left anonymous but this person just wanted to let me know that they noticed and appreciated my hard work and said that they felt inspired by my work ethic and positive attitude. This totally caught me off guard–but also turned my frown upside down! I couldn’t help but really focus on having a positive attitude at work, and also encouraging others in what they’re doing as well.

In a society taken over by sarcasm and opportunistic/self-seeking behavior, I was just reminded how uncommon, yet completely uplifting a genuinely encouraging word can be.

I think we should encourage each other more often. 

And Lot’s wife, of course, was told not to look back where all those people and their homes had been.  

But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human. So she was turned into a pillar of salt. So it goes.    

People aren’t supposed to look back. I’m certainly not going to do it anymore. 

I’ve finished my war book now. The next one I write is going to be fun. This one is a failure, and it had to be, since it was written by a pillar of salt. It begins like this: 

 —Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five 

 What’s a blog besides a diary meant to be shared? To be perfectly honest on the matter, I usually don’t journal well unless I expect it to be read by someone. I hate to sound presumptuous, but I’m really bad at writing down my thoughts just to be looked at by only me someday. I’d rather just throw it out there. Throw it out here. So it’s my pleasure to share blogs with you from now on and to be shared with by you.  Community and connection really are two things worth living for.  
Just so we’re on the same page, I’d like to give you a brief as to where/what I am these days: I live in Portland which I love and I’m a house manager the Bresee House which I love. The Bresee House is sponsored by the Community of Adsideo which I love. I love sharing these things with you too–so come visit sometime. Have dinner with us while you’re here.  
To continue being honest about life, love, and other mysteries, it’s been a rough few weeks for me. It seems like we should be too young for weddings, funerals, heartbreak, moving away, etc…but it would be naïve for me to really believe that.  
But rather than ‘diary’ about the past 6 weeks and expect pity, I’d love to start this blog today. Looking forward. It’s been great for me to be here while the stuff’s there–because I haven’t had a choice but to move on. Carry on. I am surrounded by people who love me, but they aren’t going to let me wallow in woe–just as I would hope to be able to help pick them out of a rut as well.  So rather than wallowing, I’ll let that be who I am and share with you where I’m going from here. 

Thanks for letting me share this with you. 

New blog. Up and running. I’ll keep you posted.