Monday, November 24, 2008

Storm

how long have I
been in this storm
so overwhelmed by the ocean's shapeless form
water's getting harder to tread
with these waves crashing over my head

if I could just see you
everything will be alright
if I'd see you
the storminess will turn to light

and I will walk on water
and you will catch me if I fall
and I will get lost into your eyes
and everything will be alright
and everything will be alright

I know you didn't
bring me out here to drown
so why am I 10 feet under and upside down
barely surviving has become my purpose
cause I'm so used to living underneath the surface

if I could just see you
everything will be alright
if I see you
the storminess will turn to light

and I will walk on water
you will catch me if I fall
and I will get lost into your eyes
and everything will be alright
I know everything is alright
everything's alright

I love this song by Lifehouse... mainly because the song itself is virtually tuneless. Other than some keboarding in the background played in a very subtle way, it's just the lead singer of lifehouse singing. It just makes for a brilliant effect, like he's actually alone in a storm. I can just picture him standing on a sandbar in the middle of the ocean and there's lightning striking all around him and the water is slowly rising, and yet he's calm. He wants to see God, knows that it would be so much better if Christ was there, right there with him. But he's still, ok. He knows everything will be alright.
It's amazing how much we'd feel as though our problems were solved if we could just see God, see the God of the universe to whom we must daily renew our trust. We don't have that option though, instead we can see him in his Word:
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds..."
"I will not leave you or forsake you..."
"They will renew their strength, they will rise up as if on wings of eagles..."
"Light into my life and a lamp unto my path..."

God is there, he promises it. He makes it ok, he makes it alright. He's that arm reaching into the water and pulling us out. I can just imagine it. I'm under the water, drowning, and I look up, as the lack of oxygen causes sharp pains all over my body and my lungs beg for air, and there's a hand, reaching for mine. My Savior. Everything will be alright. Everything is alright.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Numb

Forgive me for the following melodramatic entry, but I suppose that is just the emotional state I am currently in...

Do you ever feel numb? Kind of like you don't know where to go, where you belong. I think i'm finally ready to kind of admit that for a while now I have been wandering life often going through the motions rather than actually living. I don't mean my Christian faith, because more often than not this numbness has pushed be to draw nearer to the only One who can get my heartrate back to normal. I feel as though I'm paused, not stagnant, just.... still. Happiness, not joy, but rather true happiness, is something I have not felt in a long time. Yes, I can get depressed easily, this is something I know full well, but I am not even sure that I am depressed. As I said, this feeling, this state that I have been in for several months now is more like a numb feeling.

Joy...

I find so much joy in the ministry that God has blessed with me, so much so that when I am away from that ministry or reading God's Word, that dreaded feeling of apathy washes over me. I'm trying to figure out why that is... Sometimes I think i'm so content, I don't know what to do with myself. Other times I feel completely dissatisfied with my relationships and surroundings. Sometimes I wish I could just jump on a plane and leave, break the barrier of spoonfed Christianity and actually go out into the real world. Something keeps me here every year though. Something always brings me back... I know i'm here for a reason, and like I said, I love the ministry and the school, but sometimes I just wish my life would begin...

Restless...

Fact: I have never lived in one place for longer than three years.
Fact: When I get to the third year I feel ready to leave.
Fact: It is my fourth year at Liberty University.
Fact: I am restless, I hunger for adventure, I have an insatiable desire to wander, discover, explore...
Maybe I think that if I move i'll be happy again... Am I going to be that person who will not be able to settle down?

Sorry if this is a random string of thoughts... I know there isn't any significant tie, no proper conclusion... I suppose I'm using this blog just as I should... to express thoughts that need to be written, that need to be catalogued...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Love In a Coffin

I don't know a single person on this planet who would say that there is nothing more they desire than to be vulnerable, exposed, and comepletely ok with taking a risk that may involve their heart being trampled on. Infact, if anyone ever said that to you, I guarantee your response would be a look that made them feel as though their height barely reached the two-inch mark. No one ever says that they're ok with the vulnerability, with their heart being buried alive and someone dancing on its grave, no one ever says something like that.
What if I were to tell you that, even though no one thinks that way, or feels that way, they must be willing for their heart to undergo that risk in order to truly love? And what a risk it is!
I suppose that what I am trying to say is that this is the risk that I have recently had to face, in all of my relationships. Our relationship with God, friends and family all involve this risk. Fortunately, the relationship with God is one that is guaranteed, even in the midst of our most horrible sins. But even with that guarantee, we are so scared, so worried about that risk. Even when it comes to our relationship with the all-powerful, almighty God, we would rather have control, we'd rather call the shots. But it is not necessarily this relationship with God that I am anxious about, but rather with friends.
Take, for instance, the girls on my hall. I am already so attached, I have already risked so much, but it is simply a fact of life that we all move on, and things change from year to year, especially here, at LU. This being said, I find I have been pulling away from them more and more for fear that next year I will not be able to see them, be near to them. In order for my relationship and bond to grow with them, however, I would have to set aside that fear, and love them unconditionally, even if one of those conditions is the reality that I may not ever see them again after this year...

I suppose that everything that I am trying to say can be summed up in this quote by C.S. Lewis and resolved by a lot of prayer:

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

Sure, we can choose to not love, to not be vulnerable, but then, what use would that love that God has gifted us with have on His work and His kingdom? His glory is more magnified when we love as He loved: unconditionally, always pursuing and vulnerable.

I suppose I can leave you with this last thought: can you imagine how God feels everytime his vulnerable and unconditional love is rejected?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

God's Approval

I have become such a skeptic. I have become someone who cares way too much about what others think of her. To my sister, missions is a joke. She thinks it's just a free plane ticket that someone recieves in order that they can brainwash the world. She thinks that the Bible is partially a history book, partially fantasy.
I used to care so much about the task that God had appointed me: to know Him and to make Him known.
Now I care way too much about what my sister thinks. For instance: Seminary.

The door has been opened for me to go to seminary free of charge. I feel as though this is an opportunity that should not be taken for granted, but everytime I think about going to seminary, I think of of what Rebecca will say when she finds out. Or about what my friends who are getting "real" masters degrees will say. This all came to my immediate attention on Thursday, and what do I do, I completely disregarded what I had read in God's Word that very same morning.

Galations 1:10
Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

It is natural for one to desire the approval of their friends and family, but did not Jesus say
no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life...

Aren't we supposed to take up our cross and follow him?

Maybe I should work on this... for now, I must do curfew checks... sorry to cut it short...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Be Quiet!

I didn't ever think that i'd actually be stern as an RA. Especially since i'm all about the pranks.

Like the one I pulled last night (that my two roommates still don't know about). Their computers were out and their facebook profiles were up and they, well, they were no where to be found. So being the trickster that I am, I tweaked their profiles up a bit, and they'll find out soon enough. Especially when people start wishing them a happy birthday... today...

There was also the time when my Spiritual Life Director, Grace, decided to steal my mattress. All things must be avenged, right? So what did Raphaela Torman, RA of East 5 do? She placed all the furniture in the living room, which included a dining table, four chairs, two couches, a tv stand and a coffee table, in her bedroom. Of course, the rooms are relatively small, so some stuff went in the en suite bathroom...

Or maybe it was the time that I stole one of my Prayer Leader's pillows, opened the window, and left its suicide note on her bed...

These might make you laugh, but apparently, I have a dark side too...
I'm pretty sure the thought that went through my head was that it would be simple, being the good guy.

Until yesterday.

Quiet hours are from 9pm - 12am, Mon-Thurs. On East 5 3&4, those quiet hours are not normally maintained, as the girls of my hall and the guys from the brother dorm like to socialize right out side the dorm in a volume that is definitely not catering to anyone's educational venture. They are told repeatedly that this is a time for study and it must be maintained or there will be consequences. But last night, let's just say last night was a circus... So in the spirit of my paid position and with sympathy for those that truly had homework to do, I told the group outside to be quiet... three times.

At about the third time I'd truly had it, and instead of being polite (like I had been the previous times), and instead of calming down before I said anything, I took my Brazilian temper down stairs and yelled.

It wasn't like I yelled anything hurtful, or malicious, I just simply said "Be quiet now! I am serious!" and I watched as about 9 20-something girls and 6 20-something guys shut up faster than you could say reprimands. They didn't just hush, they looked scared. Needless to say, I didn't ever think that I would demand that kind of quiet, even though my position calls for it, and I was completely satisfied with the end, but shocked by the means.

I suppose this means that i'm ready to have kids?

Um.... no.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Christ the Romantic

Hosea is my absolute favorite book of the Bible. It's such a beautiful story of our ever pursuing Christ. Hopefully you have read the book of Hosea, but if not, I will give you a brief summary: Hosea is a prophet who is commanded by God to marry a prostitute named Gomer. He marries her, with every intention of it being a sacred and committed relationship. Unfortunately, old habits die hard, especially for Gomer. She consistently leaves her husband to continue her life as a harlet and Hosea, who has just about every right to up and leave this unfaithful woman, continually pursues her. No matter how many times she leaves, he would get up and chase after her.
What a picture of love! God commands Hosea to do this, not to torture him, but rather to show Hosea what His love is all about. God paints a spectacular analogy between His relationship to His people, and Hosea's relationship to his unfaithful wife. God is the pursuer, the chaser the lover. God will always chase after us, our return is to run into His arms.
I had been thinking about this recently because of a love song that was recently introduced to my iPod. The song is called "More Than a Man" by Dave Barnes

I should first apologize
Cause I’ve done nothing, but I’ll do something
The good in me gets bad sometimes
But I don’t mean it
I’ll never mean it

Don’t give up on me
Baby please believe

Cause I’ll be more than a man for you
I’ll do anything you ask me to
Heartache or heaven
Baby I will, pursue
More than a man for you

I’ll try to name you deity
We all want something
I’m missing something
It Just explains the lack in me
Where I need you
And how I need you

So don’t give up on me
Baby please believe
Cause I’ll be more than a man for you
I’ll do anything you ask me to
Heartache or heaven
Baby I will, pursue
More than a man

There’s a war inside my
Heart and mind
Between the hope ahead and sin behind
All I ask, you believe in me

This song, minus a few blantantly human attributes, reminds me of Christ's love for us. God is romantic. Not in a humanly sense though, as our relationship with him is obviously different. But we are made in His image and just as a man longs for a woman and viceversa, Christ longs for us to be His. He loves us so much, he does and can do so much more than what we think someone can do for us.
Sometimes I get frustrated that i'm single, and that everyone is married, engaged or on their way there and I pray my usual "why" prayer. Every now and then I wish I had some dude sitting outside my door playing this song for me. But really, I already have God singing this song to me. He is and will be so much more than any man I ever date, or marry. Christ has been pursuing me as though I am His princess, His prized possession, and what do I do? I run to sin, or people, instead of returning the persistent love that Christ has been chasing me with. We are so apt to pursue things or people rather than the God that says:

Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her.
There I will give her back her vineyards,

and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she will sing as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
"In that day," declares the LORD,

"you will call me 'my husband';
Hosea 2:14-16a


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

On Soap

Someone recently provided an analogy involving sin and hand sanitizer. Let me expound on that analogy:
Hand sanitizer kills 99% of the bacteria on your hand, or so it says on most bottles, with a small catch. You have to wash your hands first. See, if you place hand sanitizer on your hand without washing your hands, not only have you not removed the bacteria, but you have now trapped it on your hands, creating a sort of super germ. At least this is what my friend Wyatt told me (he's always got random facts up his sleeve) when I wiped my hands with sanitizer in the middle of the Religion Hall. He explained that the germs get trapped (he read this somewhere...) and that instead of ridding your hands of germs, you're just killing a few of them and leaving the rest. For the purpose of this illustration, we will assume that this is true, and I will request that you go along with this.

Well, after reading a friend's blog about hand sanitizer representing what we do to rid ourselves of the germs (sin) in our life, I remembered this fact that Wyatt had shared with me and found it fitting to add a new aspect to that analogy. We'll assume that Hand Sanitizer is the quick fix, the works. Yes, faith without works is dead, I know this passage, but I mean the frantic works that we do assuming that that is what is going to truly make us clean. Like my aforementioned friend mentioned in his blog, the sanitizer only gives the appearance of cleanliness, a surface level cleanliness. Sometimes we'll do and do and do to get rid of the sin without really cleansing ourselves; surrendering it to God.

Tony Nolan spoke on prayer tonight and on surrendering. He used the illustration of a boy who tries and tries and tries to remove these large rocks in his front yard so that he can mow the grass that's sticking up around the edges. He strains to move the boulder, and his father sees his attempt and just sits there and watches as his boy struggles to move it. Finally, after his boy has collapsed in exhaustion, the father looks at the boy and asks, "Son, have you done all that you can to move that boulder?" And the son naturally replies, "yes! can't you see!?" The father then smiles and (please picture this with me) says to the boy "No, you haven't. You failed to ask me to help you move it."

So many times we do to try and fix but yet we never surrender. I would like to add to my friend's analogy and say that the surrender is the soap. We must first surrender our sins, the things that we hold onto, to God and then He shall cleanse us. Without first being surrendered, we cannot do. God can cleanse you. Like the blog on hand sanitizer, we must surrender ourselves, die to ourselves.

Peace.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ugly

Have you ever gotten really frustrated at someone or something? The kind of frustrion that all of a sudden exposes this vicious monster that has been dwelling in the innermost pit of your being? It's as if is is finally bursting through the barrier of its lair, suddenly transforming your outward demeanor and appearance into something resembling the character of a classic horror film?

Your expected response:
"Yes, Raphaela, doesn't everybody?"

That was me this evening. All over a stupid battle between me, a plug and a wall outlet. See, my phone charger is of the ghetto, walmart, generic variety, and that being said, this means that the plug wobbles and is quite unstable. Of course, the wall outlet is hiding behind a large and awkwardly-shaped piece of furniture, making it nearly impossible for me to fit my gargantuantly proportioned ogre hands behind it and because ogre hands do not come with inbuilt ogre strength, I cannot move this obstacle.
So, two minutes into my somewhat calm and logical negotiation with all parties involved, the beast in me reveals itself. Pure rage surges over me as logic vanishes and the only thing left is aggression. Everything in my wants to pick up the dysfunctional plug and break it in half, sealing in my victory over the man-made object. But what do I do? I break it, but not triumphantly, because instead of abolishing its pitiful existence with my bare hands, I continue in a more violent and frustrated attempt to continue plugging it into the wall. I am not doing this gently, however, and, in an abrupt move, I channel so much force into my arm and wrist in order to adequately insert the plug into the socket that I miss the outlet completely and the two metal prongs that were previously attached to the plug, break off.

brilliant.

It is at this denouement that I catch a glimpse of my face in the mirror. Ugly, is the only word that I have to describe my reflection. The anger shows in my eyes, mouth and forehead, all of which are emphasized by wrinkles that I am sure I acquired mid-charger battle. It is then that I realized that I, once again, let my temper get the best of me. The monster came out and the gentle, kind-spirited woman I want to be known as dissapeared, all because I could not humbly seek after help when I needed a couch moved. Stupid plug ;o)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Walk Down This Mountain

Two weeks. In two weeks I will make the last 12 hour trek to Liberty University. I am filled with what can only described as a mix between nostalgia and butterflies. I am excited, but scared. I am overwhelmed and yet a little more wisened. God has shown me a little more of, well, me these past three years, and I can only imagine what he will teach me over the next six months of playing mommy to 48 girls.

Wow. 48 girls. forty-eight, beautiful women of God. I can only dream of the problems and joy they will bring my life. I can only pray that what they seek is a deeper relationship with Christ, but one can only hope...

I cannot wait till I am driving towards those mountains that have greeted me every morning for the past three years. I cannot wait to see the sunset once more behind that extravagant painting God crafted. It is always such a reminder of His beauty and Grace, and I miss it so...

I know that, once more, I will come face to face with those that find Christianity to be a trend, and that I will have to stretch myself to be in a rich relationship with Christ. I know that there will be days where I won't feel like spending time with Christ, there will be days when I get caught up in the motivational speaking that ends up being just that, a speech. Some days I will choose talking over doing, but I pray that God prepares my heart to truly listen to Him when He speaks to me, to listen to Him when he tells me to reach out, to get out of my comfort zone...

I'm excited to learn. I am so excited to use my brain again! I look forward to the days I can spend overlooking the gorgeous skyline while studying. I am so excited to see what God has in store for me... True, I am a little sad that this is my last year, but this is just the beginning, right? Who knows what he has in store... Who knows, maybe I will be up in Lynchburg for another three years...

Nah.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

She's a Trip! - Part One

I am a clutz. I have always been a clutz, and I will always be a clutz. I am completely comfortable with this fate, and accepted it long ago when I woke up in the hospital after attempting to kick a soccer ball. You would think that this prospective destiny would make me a little more cautious as to where I step, or what direction I take, but rather, I suppose that subconsiously I believe that because I have survived many of these intimate meetings with the cement, one more friendly chat couldn't hurt. Thus, an incessantly clumsy Raphaela Torman.
To shed light on my various experiences "biting the dust" I have compiled the highlights into a series. And as this is part one, I will begin with the earliest memory of my clutziness:

You'll Get a Kick Out of This

Let's begin with my kickball experience previously alluded to. Now, as background, I must say that this was an accident in the making. My after-school (most days I was a latchkey kid) program had quite an interesting array of child supervisors. Miss Kelly was our supervisor that day, and decided that the 15 children in our after school class needed to get some fresh air and exercise. To our dissarray, Wishbone was removed from the VCR, and a "refreshing" game of kickball was arranged. Unfortunately, that day, the kickball field was taken by another afterschool class. Shouting our hallelujahs and hoorays the fifteen of us started towards the school building, but Miss Kelly had a more brilliant plan. Because exercise was a requirement she had to fill as a supervisor and weather was not an excuse, she decided it would be best if we played the game on the basketball court.
Now, I wasn't the most brilliant eight year old at the time, but even then, knowing my tendency to get into accidents, I knew that this venture was one that would have many a consequence in the near future, but, of course, the game commenced. Of course, I would love to tell you that it was in the process of blocking the ball from my opponent, or diving in to make the last base that I acquired my minor concussion, but rather, it was much more embarassing and and much less heroic. There I was, it was my turn to kick, the pressure is on, I run and, with as much force as I can muster, bring my foot out to make, what I could only be hoping was a shot to make David Beckham jealous. To my horror my foot, with all the pressure I had applied to the kick, scuffs the top of the ball and my entire body flips. BAM! Next thing I know I am in the hospital having stitches applied to my head, hands, arms and knees. I still have the scar, and more vivid than ever, the memory.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Breakfast Conspiracy

I'm not normally a breakfast eater, but recently, upon the insistence that this is the "healthiest" and "most important" meal of the day, I ventured to add breakfast into my daily routine. The result? A very uncomfortable, bloated and unhappy me. What's worse, is that I am ravenous for the rest of the day. Why is this? Perhaps it's the magical starting of my metabolism which should help me in the long run, but truthfully, it doesn't. I spent my life not eating breakfast and being perfectly comfortable... Why is it that those that advocate a healthy lifestyle insist on this unhappy venture to eat when one is not hungry at all? After some thought on the matter I have decided that it is all a conspiracy. They tell you to eat breakfast, thus you eat more throughout the day, thus you obsess about how much your eating and think that you need to go on a diet because all of a sudden you're gaining weight. So you buy a diet book, and what does it tell you? Eat breakfast. And thus begins the cycle once more.

Breakfast is why the world is fat.

The End.




Monday, July 14, 2008

Whole Foods Market

Yesterday was "Raphy Day," as my family calls it. It wasn't my birthday, but it was the day in which the whole family is forced to be together, give me gifts, and potentially have a good time. Key word here is potential. Yesterday had the potential to be fun (and it was at the beginning) but one of my sisters left grumpy and my mom cried because, and I quote, "we're never all five of us together!" In the midst of this mini emotional hurricaine, I decided that I wanted to pay a visit to Whole Foods Market.
Whole Foods has had a rise in popularity recently, due to various current events. Let's discuss the recent obsession by our culture to suddenly purchase everything in it's natural and organic state. The idea of Whole Foods is to have a place where one can go and have a "Garden of Eden" experience. It's all about absolute raw. No pesticides, no hormones, no chemicals, and thus, no mercy on your shopping budget.
Another contributor to the rise in popularity is a result of the popular reality T.V. show, and one of my current obsessions, Top Chef. Whole Foods Market is the supplier for the majority of the food that the chefs in this competition work with. It is the store that they're given a certain amount of time to run around in and find the freshest fruit, the most peculiar animal products (such as lime-tequila marinated sardine heads) and the most unique condiments (try cashew butter).
Because of this rise in publicity and popularity, a Whole Foods Market moved right around the corner to my house, about five minutes away. My first impression as I walked in through the sliding glass doors that boldy displayed their "guaranteed organic" mantra, I felt out of place, and very... toxic. I felt as if my processed-food consuming body was contaminating the air in which these frequent shoppers breathed. I was ruining their oasis! Frantically, I attempted to blend in, and wishing I had worn earthtones instead of my bright blue dress, I quickly picked up a basket by the door and walked with determination to the juice shelf of the produce section.
I am positive the look of sheer confusion must have crossed my face, because instead of the comforting familiarity of Tropicana, I was faced with some clear liquid labeled a word I knew all the linguistics training in the world wouldn't help me pronounce. I watched as a tall skinny man in earthy clothing that resembled a potato sack woven together to make a flowing pair of pants, frantically grab as many of the clear liquid bottles (that were currently buy one get one free and at the bargain price of 3.99) and place them into his shopping cart. As my curious nature took over my body I reached for the bottle and read that this was a somewhat "mystical" Chinese tea, capable of healing and rejuvinating the body. I started laughing as I continued to read all the benefits that this herbal remedy boasted. The man that was grabbing these teas looked at me with a belittling expression on his face and in a tone as if I was the most ignorant human being asked, "I take it you don't know what KUM-Ka-Cha is?" His long, dirty, blonde hair shook as he pronounced the name of the drink. I looked at him and responded, in my smart aleck way, "Is it magic juice?" I must have sounded incredibly rude, because he did not respond and continued to grab the bottles and place them into his cart and walked away with an indignant look accross his face. I figured he himself probably didn't know what it was, and I continued on to the unrefrigerated juice section.
As I was walking past the 100% fruit juice boxes for kids, the most peculiar sight crossed my range of vision. A mother, with two children in her cart was grabbing juice off of the shelf and placing them in her cart. It wasn't the mother, however, that caught my attention, but rather the children, who were calm, quiet and seemingly sedated. As I watched them silently looking around them with a behaved curiosity I couldn't help but mention to the mother that her children were extremely well-behaved. Her response: processed foods never enter their body.
As I walked through the "make your own almond butter" section, I had visions of me with a leaner body (because, in this day dream, I did yoga every day) a plant based diet, and a glow in my presence because I drank wheatgrass and whey protein. I had two gorgeous children who never screamed or cried, but rather who developed a fondness for protecting their environment. Still in the midst of my day dream I walked towards the wheatgrass section and looked at this "superfood" mix that one could place into their morning protein shake. It was gluten free, soy free, whey free, lactose free, nut free, and environment friendly. I had forgotten all about my day dream and tried hard to decipher what exactly was in this powder. Confused and slightly distraught, I walked toward my final destination.
The "Naked Juice" section. This amazing juice cures the common cold in about 5 hours and has a week-long shelf life. I grabbed as many as I could and determined, I walked to the cash register. As the cashier rang up my juice I fell back into my daydream of living a disciplined and healthy vegan lifestyle and living to be about 90 years old while drinking my daily shot of wheatgrass. As the total of my 6, 15 oz juice bottles rang up to an astronomical amount, the dream once again evaporated, along with the fleeting thought of abandoning meat and oreos. And as I walked out into the Florida sunshine, and breathed in the polluted air, I came to the happy realization that everything was as it should be, processed, toxic, and I was, once again, living my blissfully ignorant life.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Excuses

Ok, i'll admit it, I am the queen of excuses. I have an excuse for absolutely everything that makes me uncomfortable, stretches my limits or requires me to go above and beyond. Take fasting, for instance. A spiritual discipline, not commanded, but highly suggested. "When you fast..." I feel like Jesus must have added a "hint, hint, wink wink" facial expression... like "this is what you should be doing." But naturally, we have excuses. True, some people, for medical reasons cannot eliminate food from their diet completely, but there are other ways to fast. Fasting can be done for several different reasons. I think that the elimination of food, especially to eliminate it completely, is true sign that one is depending on God. As humans, we are, of course, required to function on food. And what do we do? We panic when we miss a meal, or two, and freak out when we're told fasting is a great way of drawing nearer to God. We come up with the ultimate excuse: "I won't be able to function properly."

Silly humans... God is so much bigger than what we require for bodily function. Don't you think that in the days that you have committed to fasting for the Lord, God will give you the strength to go about your daily activities? Oh wait... it's not the fact that we won't function properly, it's the fact that we just plain don't want to give up our food. We don't want to be uncomfortable.

I am just as guilty of this thought as anyone else. When I work a nine hour shift, constantly running around, the last thing I want to have to think about is my growling stomach, but that's actually the beauty of it. That growling is an intermittent reminder of how we need to depend on God for our strength. It is a reminder to pray for those that we would not pray for otherwise. It is a reminder to draw near to the one who is the true Life Sustainer.

Alive In This Moment

Just as background, I chose the name "Alive in this moment" after a song by Starfield. It's a song about how many times we run away and then at some point, some moment, God pulls us back torward him. When everything falls apart his arms are open wide (as they were when we chose to do everything our own way) and he meets us in that moment. It's about remembering how amazing God is, how beautiful the aroma of his love. This song is a mirror of my life, and the life of several others. Grasping for control in so many aspects of our life, we either don't want God's help and guidance, or just believe that we do not need it. I wish it wasn't the case that so many times it is when I fall flat on my face after abiding by the flesh that I realize that the only thing I need, the only thing that should take precedence in my life is the ONE.
The song is about how our hedonistic desires cause us to forget the One who will give us our deepest and truest desires. Dead in our sin, Alive with God.

Because Brittney Told Me To...

This is my blog. Welcome. I suppose I could begin my posting experience by posting a blog in which I WOW your brain with my eloquent words (which I will, undoubtedly, have to look up in the Thesaurus) and fascinating introductory topic, but since I have to be at work soon, and quite frankly, that's not me (unless i am arrogantly trying to impress... hey, i'm honest), I will instead leave my initial post, as is. I think this is a perfect reflection of my personality thus far, so it will suffice...