A Page in my Daybook

Outside My Window ~ crisp morning air and children at school

 

Towards a daily rhythm ~ work, work, time with sister.

 

I am thankful ~ That I have a new house.

 

From the kitchen ~ nothing but leftovers

 

I am wearing ~ a brown/pink frilly blouse and brown slacks….yes work clothes.

 

I am creating ~ plans in my mind

 

Bringing beauty to my home ~ fall decor

 

I am reading ~ books about gardening and roses

 

I am hoping ~ I can make some friends here and move forward with my life.

 

Around the house ~ boxes still!

 

One of my favorite things ~ espresso!

 

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ~ going to a training ALL day Thurs and Fri for work and then the weekend!

 

Here is a picture thought I am sharing ~ a photo

A Memory of India

Today, as I continue to be unpacking boxes every weekend from the move, I came across a photo I took years ago when I ventured to the country of India.  I’ve always loved this photo of a random woman in a village I visited.  The joy on her face is unforgettable.  I remember feeling helpless to give anything to  such an individual who lived in such simplicity that I could never fathom. 

My own Secret Garden

the bird feeder, can you tell I took this one through the screen window? 

 

the bird feeder, can you tell I took this one through the screen window?

Ok so not really…..it’s not a secret…..but many summer evenings I have enjoyed my parents courtyard garden.  I also enjoyed it today as the weather was fabulous today!  It was God’s relieving reminder to me that fall is right around the corner.  Moving back here I remember the season changes that I loved growing up.  I anticipate them with gladness. I am so excited for the sizzling hot summers to be days of my past!

 

 

the fountain in the courtyard

the fountain in the courtyard

 

cute bella boo squinting in the sunlight

cute bella boo squinting in the sunlight

Juno: The Accidental Pro-Life Film

If you haven’t seen the movie Juno, don’t worry I won’t spoil it here.  I recently saw it.  It’s a comedy about a teenage girl who is “unintentionally” pregnant-ed by her teenage boyfriend.  It is the story of her decision to give the child up for adoption to a seemingly ‘perfect’ yuppie couple instead of seeking a “hasty abortion” to quote her.  Well, the film takes some getting used to as it has the likings of a teenage cult-film along the lines of Napoleon Dynamite.  I’ve also heard that if you have kids in the 13-24 age bracket that it might freak you out a bit as to what kids are up to and talk about today.  So, I’ve also heard it’s one of those movies that gets better if you give a second and third try.  Anyhow, despite the Hollywood producers, it is an “accidental” pro-life film.  In my opinion, it is a redeeming film for that reason.  Beyond that, it has much redemptive value as we see choices we make in life change us and define us.  So, see Juno if you haven’t already and chime in if you want.

A Question for God

Awhile back a friend of mine and I were having a discussion about what if we could ask God one thing what would we ask Him.  In this same conversation, she asked me if I could, as well, ask God for one thing what would I ask for.  It was sort of a hypothesis based on the story of Solomon in the OT and how he asked God for wisdom.  Well, I decided that if I could ask God to give me one thing (of an abstract, non-material kind) I would ask Him for peace.

Why peace?  Well, I’m one of those anxious, stuck-in-my-head-too-often kind of girls.  I think though that it is very hard to have consistent peace living in southern California, surrounded by traffic, traffic, more traffic, and media images of all sorts.  It’s a crazy world.

The first question of what I would ask God is not an original one.  After all, you hear all sorts of people joke about what they  are going ask God when they get to heaven and even some who are not joking.  I remember a time in my life where I would have said, “well, I wouldn’t ask God anything. He’s God and He owes me nothing.”  This is true but I think I prided myself that I would be so “spiritual” to not ask God a thing and this would mean I really loved him.  I think my thoughts since then, thank God, have metamorphosed.  I do believe that God is God and that He owes me nothing, but I think that I have found, over time, I have many questions I’d like to ask God.  These are not the sorts of questions one asks with fists raised towards heaven but rather my feeble heart wanting understanding where there has been left but a dim light.  I have many questions over the meanings of so many sayings of Jesus.  Jesus is hard to understand sometimes.  Actually,I think many of my questions are in regards to Scripture.  Most ardently though I think I would want to know:  What does it mean that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church?  It seems, however one defines the ‘church’, this statement seems only half-true.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the Scripture is not true or something like that.  I am just saying that often I don’t understand the reality I live on earth and the heavenly kingdom reality and how and where they intersect. 

Hmm….so I guess when I come before God one day, maybe I will get a chance to ask Him my questions.  Maybe one day I will be graced with illumination to understand so many of the things I question and struggle over.  May God grant me, a sinner, many years!

Inspite of my Insistent Irritation..Happy Easter

This last week, I’ve continued to be irritated by the fact that the Orthodox (which I claim to be a part of) and rest of Christendom celebrate Easter on different dates most years. 

I’ve been spending the last two days reading up as to why and the arguments on both sides.  My irritation mostly is aimed at the Orthodox church as I continue to see cultural problems, specifically in America, coming to the forefront of my mind.  Lord have mercy!

A good overview can be found here (taken from the GOA website).  Here is an exert of the introduction that I found myself giving a hearty amen to:

“The long-awaited common celebration of Pascha on April 15, 2001 by all Christians has come and gone. It was in 1990 when this coincidence last occurred and will be in 2004 when it occurs again. In anticipation of this common observance by all Christians, much was said and written. What was stressed was the need to keep alive the momentum of the occasion. Unless we all understand the significance of this event, it will remain nothing more than a peculiarity of the calculations related to the date of Pascha. In one sense, that is what it is. But in another sense, it is the convergence of all that we as Christians in the East and West profess regarding the centrality of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ as the cornerstone of our faith.

Nothing challenges the credibility of this fact to non-believers more than the scandal of our division on this point of celebration.” (emphasis mine)

Here is the rest if you want to read it.

To the rest of Christendom, I say “Christ is Risen! Glorify Him!” Happy Resurrection Day.

Pray for the rest of your brothers and sisters walking East that continue in Lent.

Ghandi and Christianity

mahatma_gandhi.jpgI’ve been thinking a lot about Ghandi since recently I watched the 1982 film based on his life.  I had heard a quote that Ghandi said intermittently throughout my Christian journey,

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

I could relate to Ghandi on many levels.  After all, I’ve had my own fair share of experiences with “Christians” that have wreaked evil in lives, in my own life.  It is an age old problem, Christ’s name being used to advance someone else’s agenda or kingdom.  After watching the film though, I had a truly deeper understanding as to why Ghandi would say this.  If you haven’t seen it, you need to!  He was a truly amazing individual who tried to bring equality and justice where there was none.  To him, who were the Christians?  It would be imperialist Britain that occupied India at the time.  These white, imperialist Britains were those who represented Christ to India at the time.  It would be these imperialist Britains who would massacre innocent Indians for following Ghandi’s teachings, which were peace and love.  I wept as I saw how Ghandi was much more of a Christ-like figure than the “Christians.” 

Beyond this, to I read a story of Ghandi’s direct encounter with a “Christian” as he tried to worship at a church.  This encounter makes the point of why Ghandi said what he said even more powerful and clear.

“Mahatma Gandhi is one of the most respected leaders of modern history. A Hindu, Ghandi nevertheless admired Jesus and often quoted from the Sermon on the Mount. Once when the missionary E. Stanley Jones met with Ghandi he asked him, “Mr. Ghandi, though you quote the words of Christ often, why is that you appear to so adamantly reject becoming his follower?”

Ghandi replied, “Oh, I don’t reject your Christ. I love your Christ. It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Apparently Ghandi’s rejection of Christianity grew out of an incident that happened when he was a young man practising law in South Africa. He had become attracted to the Christian faith, had studied the Bible and the teachings of Jesus, and was seriously exploring becoming a Christian. And so he decided to attend a church service. As he came up the steps of the large church where he intended to go, a white South African elder of the church barred his way at the door. “Where do you think you’re going, kaffir?” the man asked Ghandi in a belligerent tone of voice.

Ghandi replied, “I’d like to attend worship here.”

The church elder snarled at him, “There’s no room for kaffirs in this church. Get out of here or I’ll have my assistants throw you down the steps.”

From that moment, Ghandi said, he decided to adopt what good he found in Christianity, but would never again consider becoming a Christian if it meant being part of the church.”

I have found this is how it often is though.  People respect Jesus but just don’t get the people who claim to follow Him.  After all, Jesus stood for many things, but He did NOT stand for murder or evil.  It is often a distortion of the true Christian faith that turns people away.  I have several friends who used to claim to be Christians who now turn to agnosticism or secularism because of baggage of a different kind, but baggage they carry because of a distortion and abuse of “Christianity.”  I think this is most often the case.  Few people outright reject Christ that I know, that is deep down.  It is often the baggage of “Christianity” that paralyzes them from accepting this true faith.

So when I hear of atrocities done in the name of Christ, I humble myself.  Even though I haven’t directly committed them, I ask for forgiveness on behalf of those who distorted the true Christ.  I wish someone could have done this for Ghandi.  Maybe he might have met a true Christian and been able to see the true Christ, that Christ he knew was there.