Thursday, January 24, 2008

What is on my mind at 4:39pm

As I sit here in an office in the AB2 building of Evangel University, I am thinking about a few things:

1) How excited I am that a new season of LOST is beginning

2) That the movie Atonement was very good

4) My headache is bothering me

5) That the political season is starting to get heated up and I enjoyed talking about that with my fellow-blogger (and much more widely-read for obvious reasons) Sky Girl

6) I'm excited to eat my homemade taco salad

7) I don't want to sit through another four hours of class tonight

8) I feel guilty that I never write on this thing because I like it when people check in on it, but I know its my own fault that no one does.

9) I wish I had coffee right now

10) I love my mom

Friday, January 11, 2008

classes start

Classes started this week at Evangel and I officially went down to being part time here at Burrell. Its all sort of a whirlwind. I'll try to keep people up to date on how things are going, but as you'll see, I have several fires in the oven:

1) I get to be a big part of the autism clinic Burrell announced last week. So far I have learned a lot about autism spectrum disorders in various trainings they're sending me to-- and will continue to learn and grow as we get more kids.

2) We're starting a group therapy program here at Burrell for kids. I'm in charge of it, so to speak. Should be interesting.

3) I started my internship at Cherokee Middle school this week following around one of the school counselors there. The kids at Cherokee are SO WELL BEHAVED. Even the problem ones aren't "problems" as far as I'm use to, which is sort of a nice change of pace.

4) I have four new classes with three new professors. I am officially a full time graduate student this semester and from here on out will stay full time until I graduate.

5) I continue on in my graduate assistantship, which I love.

At the moment I am getting ready to go to Office Max (or whatever it is) to look for folders for my various classes, and then I'm headed home for nap time. This weekend Jeff has another Mystery Hour which of course will be wonderful. Other than that I hope to order my books for classes and rest up for the crazy week ahead. Much love and HAPPY WEEKEND.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Speaking of Faith

Unfortunately I am not one who has much time to listen to podcasts. My husband does, however, which gives me the opportunity of having a buffer pick out the best ones for me. So far our favorite regular podcasts are NPR's All Songs Considered and This American Life. I've listened to some of Mars Hill Bible Church's podcasts which are always good too. My most recent favorite, however, is American Public Media's Speaking of Faith podcast. Krista Tippet, the host, just started a series on the "New Evangelical Leaders" which is really a fresh and honest look at what some are calling "Progressive Christianity", (there are many terms out there to describe what Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, Donald Miller, and others are doing), something I have been excited to see emerge in the past couple of years. The first of the series is about Jim Wallis, author of God's Politics: Why the Right gets it Wrong and the Left doesn't get it..

The interview is sooooooo good. Here is a man I can get behind--someone who goes against the grain of popular American evangelical culture and reminds us that Jesus is for the poor and the sick--and DEMANDS that we do something to help them. In the podcast he talks about how modern Americans don't do much to help the poor because we don't see them. They live in small sections of big cities or town and don't shop at the same grocery stores or visit Starbucks or Panera like we do. There have been several conversations I get into with my friends about this fact, and it was nice to hear someone put it more eloquently than I generally do. We don't know them.

Wallis also talks about the fairly new idea in our society that politically we are divided into Religious = Republicans and Secular = Democrats.
Really neither party should claim stake on religion, and its high time that changes.

Anyway, I am now going to post a link in my common clicks to God's Politics Blog. Go to it and see what you think.

Friday, January 4, 2008


So, last night Jeff and I watched the Caucuses for most of the evening... it was actually pretty entertaining. I didn't understand the whole process until we talked to Jeff's mom, an Iowa native, who had to explain everything to us before she left. She continued throughout the evening to update us on the process: I got text messages saying that the line she stood in at the local Elementary school wrapped around the building twice, that when she actually got into the building she could feel the person standing behind her breathing on her neck, and then she updated us on the first and second counts of votes. We were, of course, watching it on television where they declared that Barack Obama won far before her first count was finished, but nonetheless I was excited to be getting first-hand info from a Caucusing woman.

I learned a lot. I haven't gotten too much into the campaigns yet, knowing that many will drop out probably even before our primary in February. Last night, however, I got excited. I watched each candidate give their speeches after the votes were counted, and here is my overall assesment of the situation:

John Edwards creeps me out. I saw him speak when he came to Springfield for the Kerry campaign, and overall liked what he had to say. Since then, however, I've heard him speak several times and each time I feel like he's a fake. He is always giving some ridiculous heart-warming speech that seems over-done and disingenuous. He also over-tans.

Then there was Mike Huckabee. Obviously suprised. Chuck Norris' (CHUCK NORRIS, PEOPLE!) teeth were blinding. Couldn't concentrate on what Huckabee was saying.

Hillary is growing on me. At the present time I think she's quite a bit too divisive for this already torn-apart country, but she's smart. That's something we need going for us. Coming in third last night was an obvious blow-- described quite well by some CNN analysts saying that Mr. Hillary looked quite upset standing next to her while she spoke. And... her speech sucked. She talked about how great Democrats are and was really sarcastic. She looked defeated too. Boo.

Mitt Romney. What kind of name is Mitt? And $30 BILLION on TV adds in Iowa alone? And he still came in second? That rocks.

So--my favorite of the evening you ask? Obama. He blew everyone out of the water with his Martin Luther King-like speech. (I'm not the only one who says that, either.) What really got me was when he talked about how this country needs true unity and someone who can cross boundaries. He sounded so poised and put-together, and not really campaign-y either. Barack really seems like the kind of guy who will work hard, take things seriously, and surround himself with good people. He really sold me last night. He's the man.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Jesus Camp

So, I saw the movie everyone was talking about more than a year ago--Jesus Camp-- this weekend with my friend Kesha. We suffered through the A&E commercials that came with it, which sorta sucked, but it showed our commitment to watching good television.

I have to say the film made me think a lot. At first I was quite overwhelmed by it. The kids (probably 5 to 12 years old) at the camp were being told to be 'warriors of god', to open their mouths and pray in tongues, (almost as if they were eating breakfast or something), and many as young as 8 or 9 were "manifesting all over the place" (a phrase taught to me by my sister--it means speaking in tongues, convulsing in the spirit, falling on the floor, etc.)

I don't need to give you an entire synopsis of the movie because many have already seen it--its not new. The interesting thing I would like to point out, however, is that the experience of these kids wasn't very far off from what I remember being part of in my early teen years... and it all sorta messed me up. I went to lots of church retreats and/or camps where I remember being told to speak in tongues (nothing came out), or watching my friends fall on the floor in the spirit (me still standing there). I wondered why I wasn't "getting" it while everyone else around me was. At 12 or 14, or however old I was, I couldn't understand that God has different gifts for different people, and that some preachers and leaders believe and say things that are bunk--- its taken me years (and some therapy) to understand that my connection to God doesn't HAVE to fit a certain mold. Not that I don't believe that speaking in tongues or prophesying isn't real--b/c I do--- It just doesn't happen to me, and that's OK.

and that's all I have to say about that.

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