Tuesday, February 28, 2012


For the past several weeks, our pastor has been teaching on Amos.  What’s Amos? you ask… oh, it’s a small book in the old testament that is categorized as a minor prophet.  But what he has to say is anything but minor.  Appropriately, the title of the series is “Let Justice Flow,” and let me tell ya… wow!  Week after week, studying what God has to say about injustice and how he feels about it.  It’s lighting a fire underneath my lazy excuse-making butt.  (more on that another time)   

Coincidentally, my chronological reading-through-the-bible plan has landed me in some of the other prophet books and sometimes it’s hard to know what to make of them.  How do I interpret this?  Is it applicable to me living in the post-Jesus time? (under the new covenant)  Well, something our pastor said during this Amos series helped me in this area.  Early on in the series, he said that the old testament was written in the old covenant with God’s people and we live in the new covenant.  Jesus has come and paid for our sin and we can be reconciled to God by believing that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God.  However, God’s covenant with his people was different before Jesus came (which is when the events in the Old Testament take place).  They were held accountable to the law God gave them through Moses.  The law and the two covenants could be a whole different study in itself, but the point is when reading the Old Testament, we need to learn to ask how is this applicable to me living under the new covenant?  One answer was this – God is unchanging, and while he has a new covenant with his people, the way He feels about these issues doesn’t change. 

For example, Amos 1:11-12 says “Thus says the Lord: ‘because he pursued his brother with the sword and cast off all compassion and his anger tore perpetually and he kept his wrath, so I will send a fire upon Teman and it shall devour the strongholds of Bozrah.’”   Well, it would be wrong interpretation to conclude that God is going to pour out fire from heaven upon us if you are against your brother or have perpetual anger.  [Side note – let’s beware of when people misuse scripture to say that such and such natural disaster is God judging you.  That is NOT how God operates under this new covenant.  Let’s also beware of judging all Christians by those people who misuse scripture.  End side note.] 
It would be correct to remember that God does not change. And therefore, if he didn’t want people “pursuing their brother with the sword” or “casting off all compassion” or living in perpetual anger then, he doesn’t want that now.  And if he felt strongly enough about it to threaten complete destruction then, he feels that strongly now.   What broke God’s heart 3,000 years ago breaks God’s heart today.  And it should break mine.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Learning to Sew

I mentioned here about my new goal of learning to sew.

Well, the first project I tackled was this tote bag tutorial.  Let's just say, it's pretty bold of me to share my finished project here on the world wide bag.  I call my accomplishment - the world's smallest tote bag.

Though basically useless and pretty embarassing in real life, it was pretty fun to make and isnpired me to keep trying.  Perhaps in my next tote bag, there will be lining on the inside and less threads hanging off the straps.  In the mean time, I'll hide it in my closet so you don't have to experience the fashion faux pas that is my tote. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

violence in chicago

i just watched a disturbing documentary about youth violence in chicago.
i haven't really been able to process my thoughts and emotions.
but a couple things that it made me feel are...
i miss chicago.
i miss the students i had and teaching there.
the video helped me to understand some of their conflicts that were so foreign to me, that i sometimes couldn't wrap my mind around.  like, why would you be so mad that some girl bumped into you in the hallway.
i miss driving around and seeing neighborhood convenience stores, parts of town where all the stores had spanish names, or chinese names, or korean names, or polish names. 
i miss the ethnic diversity.
i miss the public transportation. [dont get me wrong, i love an attached garage.]
i miss walking.
i miss downtown.
i miss the hugeness and the community all mixed up into one.
i miss talking to people for whom english was a second language.

this video also made me feel sad for children, children who grow up knowing nothing but violence, children who are victims of an epidemic.  (but not sad in a i'm-white-so-i-pity-you-minority-child way)

this video made me wonder how, when i lived so close to all violence, i lived so seemingly far away. 
this video made me wonder if there are any solutions.
i was AMAZED at some of the work this organization is doing amongst youth in Chicago.  not fake, pretend-to-be-problem-solvers work... like, real, in your face work where the rubber meets the road. and people put their guns away.  but it's not always a happy ending.

i don't fit into that organization's approach because i wasn't a gangbanger. but could i do something to help? could you?

this post doesn't begin to describe the thoughts rolling around in my head.

watch here if you want. it's long, close to 2 hours. (p.s. there are 2 versions... broadcast and the vsn. with the original language. if you haven't heard an extreme amount of cussing in a while, they're not kidding when they say "graphic language.")

anyone have thoughts about the youth violence epidemic? anyone impacted by it? let me know if you watch it and have reflections?

Friday, February 3, 2012


happy friday!

a friend sent me a link to this blog post full of truth.

just finished this book - instructive, practical, inspiring, true.

i listened to this first sermon in a series on marriage based on this book.  i intend to listen to the rest and read the book with my awesome husband!

i am considering putting my name on the waiting list for this event... crazy and a little weird/ random? maybe

this 13 second video made me giggle and say "awww."

Thursday, February 2, 2012

the truth

lately God has reminded me of these truths:

I am his precious daughter because of HIS love, not because of my achievements.  Therefore, my lack of achievement does not affect his love.  Really, anything I do is out of the equation.  He loved me first.

He sees me as righteous through the blood of Jesus, not because of my good deeds.  Meaning, when I am conceited or rude or judgmental, he says to me "repent and use your freedom in Christ to be FREE from those sins that entangle you.  You have the freedom - choose it today.  I have washed away your sin and see it no more.  You're forgiven.  Live freely."

i need these truths. every day.  i need to have the truth way down deep in my heart and soul where even the enemy that is trying to devour me cannot take it away.  the truth sets me free. 

do you need to hear it too?  God values you. He loves you. do you know him?  he knows you and desperately longs for you to know him.  He sent the Savior of the universe, and the Savior of you and me to earth so that we might, if we so choose, know him intimately.  

can i get an amen? ;)