Broken-down Poetry: November 2007


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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Sims mindset

I know I'm a fool, no one needs to tell me that.

We talked about pilgrimages today in English and it made me very pensive. I mean, very. To go into it at all would be confusing and overwhelming so I'll save it for later blogs. Nevertheless, there is one thing I've thought about today. And that is dating.

Now, to how I got from pilgrimages to dating doesn't make a bunch of sense, so I won't bother. It all boils down to my overarching theme of the season: change. But like I said, I won't go into all that.

I decided to fast from crushing. (That sounds awfully dorky.) I made a commitment that for at least 2 months I won't crush on anyone. God helping, I hope to be crush free until next year. I'm learning a lot about people.

I hate admitting this because it's not deep or anything, but I just started realizing what it means to have a guy friend. For my whole life (and I really do mean my whole life) I assumed that befriending a guy beyond being his acquaintance meant that I like-liked him. I call this the "Sims" mindset.

[Explanation: On the Sims, when a girl and guy Sim talks, their liking of the other person rises. It starts at aquaintance, then "warm," then friends, then it jumps to in love.]

I have quite a few guy acquaintances and guy "warms." Half the youth group is guys, I have no choice. But taking that relationship to the friend level has been impossible for me. I don't really know why.

I've never really had a close guy friend. Well, I was close to Austin then we dated (psh, screwed that friendship up). And I want to be friends with Todd and with Luke but there are so many strings attached. Why does it have to be that way?

And I think I like guys hanging out with guys more than girls 90% of the time. Girls are dramatic, guys just take things as they come. But it is just so difficult because of the way people, and hollywood, put expectations of guy-girl relationships. [Segway into my AP English practice essay for this week!]

How many TV shows or movies show guy-girl friends that don't end up in a dating relationship? Let me give you a hint: NONE. [Example: the couple in You've Got Mail, Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable, Nancy Drew and Ned, Ross and Rachel, the couple in 13 Going on 30, Lane and that one guitarist guy on Gilmore Girls, etc]

Maybe I am ignorant or something; maybe guys and girls can't just be friends. It just doesn't seem right. So I am going to defy all the laws of whatever and make more guy friends. No strings. No future dating. No secret crush.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Another one of those days.

[[Disclaimer: If you have anything to do, don't read this blog. I just wrote what I felt and sometimes what I feel is nonsense. But if you want to anyway, feel free.]]

Well, how do I begin?

My car... augh, someone backed into it... now it has a huge dent. (Yuck) Today has just been one of those days--not horrible (I mean, the night's still young n' all) but not exceptionally great. I just feel blah.

I feel like I have so many feelings inside of me that I haven't really taken care of. Instead I have just suppressed them (they're still inside of me) and I don't really know what I'm going to do when they're unleashed.

Two and a half months ago I ended a crush on a guy. But how do you just end a crush without the feelings returning? I read something in Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek that reminded me of this feeling in some way:

"...[A]s you look at a still-beautiful face belonging to a person who was once your lover in another country years ago: with fond nostalgia, and recognition, but not real feeling save a secret astonishment that you are strangers." [80]

And maybe this feeling isn't describing that "ex-crush" but a certain ex-boyfriend whose heart I mistreated. We are strangers. I guess that the "just friends" philosophy isn't much of reality. Oh, I wish it were.

My heart aches. There are so many guys that I am better off befriending than dating. I regret dating Austin for that, uh, week and a half, just because it put a rift in our relationship. I talked to Austin like I had talked to no one before. Who can hold conversations for six hours and twenty minutes without getting bored?

I'm a lucky girl. I have great guys in my life (my brothers!) and an awesome best friend. I just wish that I didn't take people for granted. That I just respected them and accepted them as who they were; that I loved them the agape way.

I guess my biggest fear right now is awakening feelings of hostility that I felt a year ago (toward my best friends) or unhealthy crushing over an unattainable guy... things that I thought by faith I had overcome. But have I? Or did I use temporary will-power?

Was it all for nothing?

I fear I'm going to wake up mad at my best friend for hating "him" or let myself crush over apple (oh geez, I know). I fear that what I thought was overcome through my relationship with God was just... covered with a bandaid.

The wound isn't going to heal without exposing it.

So here I am. I'm not really that bad. I'm just pensive. Just, really pensive.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

kill the inconvenient truth

[Another attempt to find myself politically. Here's to being a left-winger. *Cheers!*]

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I'm on my dad's 2000 IBM PC. Imagine what it was like to surf the web 8 years ago. Yes, it's that bad. My dad, thanks to some neighbors who are tech-savvy, has upgraded to wireless internet. But still, it took about 2 minutes for Firefox to load. No kidding.

Nevertheless, I decided to observe my family as Annie Dillard might, with a careful and thoughtful eye. I guess I realized a few double standards--I'm not shocked or anything--but it just interested me. I will share those observations with you. (In light of Annie Dillard... the author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek... my least favorite book at the time.)

My family is very conservative. Not like... Luke or Adam conservative (uh, make your own inferences off of that) but still, strong Lutherans. My dad's sister-in-law is probably what I would call a Neo-Lutheran (not like old-fashioned Lutheran, but still conservative).

But my sister and I are more on the left-wing side. [Me? Not as much as her, but let me lump into her group for the time being.]

Okay, back to the story.

They are conservative, which is fine. I like conservatism. I believe in tradition, the occasional legalism when need be. (Again, I'm making unnecessary loopholes here.) BUT when conservatism meets coldheartedness, I get concerned.

And my family is really nice. My aunt, the "Neo-Lutheran," is one of my favorite people. But, when liberal ideas are mentioned there are walls put up.

I hate the word tolerance because it gets such a bad rep. I don't believe you should tolerate sin in your life. BUT, I think you should tolerate, or rather, accept other's beliefs or ideals.

I heard a guy speak at an outdoor concert explaining how evolution was a delusional concept and that anyone thinking differently should be burned at the stake. He said that evolutionists are "ignorant" and according to him ignorant means "stupid." (And He said that. I quote, "People who believe in evolution are stupid." I was fuming.)

Stupid? Okay... Mr. Creationist, how's this for a try, what if we decided that instead of saying all people who are ignorant are stupid, let's say it is stupid to be ignorant about subjects and judge them anyway.

Did Mr. Creationist even study evolution? Does he not know that evolution IS real? (Microevolution, which has to exist if you believe in Noah's ark!)

My point is this: if my conservative family can judge liberals without knowing them and Creationists can judge evolution without truly studying it, how are we serving Christ?

This is no longer a political debate, but a Christian one. How is our bigotry showing people the Freedom Christ offers? It's not.

Hullo, did Jesus sit with his twelve at Seder and discuss why Caesar promoted idol worshiping? Did He sit around arguing against radical politicians or even vent about those "sinful Samaritans" over yonder? No. He loved.

And not only that (as if it weren't enough) He didn't even DISCUSS politics (not even once!) He told the story of the good Samaritan, and didn't even judge the woman at the well. "Give Caesar what is Caesar's...."

We like to remain ignorant about other people's beliefs and it builds up walls. You don't have to sell your Christian beliefs for say, Islam, just because you read the Qur'an.

It bugs me how quick people are to judge other people based off of their beliefs. I don't want to be hated because I'm a Christian. (yes, I know that will happen regardless). I don't want to be judged because I believe homosexuals should be allowed to get married.


For crying out loud! Jesus loves her too!

People shouldn't be judged for their beliefs (their faith in God or lack thereof) or their political party (donkeys or elephants) or anything else.

And now I'm ranting.

It's Thanksgiving: learn to love. Forget about what people believe. Forget about whether they think its okay to have sex before marriage or if they go to church every Sunday or read their Bible or vote Ron Paul or Obama.

Love them all.

Show mercy.

Speak with love.

Oh, I'm trying not to rant...,


Friday, November 16, 2007

Grace vs. Truth (Part II)

I don't know if I really want to glorify Grace over Truth. I mean, yes, I believe everything I have said about Grace: that it is the message of the New Testament and that Christians tend to de-emphasize it, but I guess there's more to it than I had originally anticipated.

And I can go on a soapbox and talk about the ways Christians have forgotten Grace and have been hateful bigots (but I won't). But I do want to talk about a thing called Obedience.

Almost everyone has a historical figure that they idolize. Mine is George MacDonald. He was an incredible thinker, almost like a philosopher, but a preacher as well. I love reading his stuff, but what I realized about him is that he has a strong belief in obedience. I'm reading an anthology of some of his writings right now and there seems to be an overarching theme of, and I'll use his words here: "Go and do it."

Obey God.

Do what you're supposed to do.

And I know I just said how Grace is so important (it is!) but God wants us to obey Him too. Not to the point that we think we can deed our way into heaven, but God wants us to obey. MacDonald said, "It is simply absurd to say you believe, or even want to believe, in Him, if you do not do anything He tells you."

And sin? Well, its hard to bypass. I mean, the Bible says that if you know the good you ought to do and don't do it, you have sinned. (Talk about a standard!) I know I should be reading Annie Dillard right now instead of facebooking, so am I sinning?

That's a lot to ask of someone, I know, especially since we've established that the Church seems to emphasize morality over anything. But there's some good behind that. God wants us to obey. But should that be top priority?


(Yes, I just turned around and started walking in the other direction)

A balance. I love to believe that God has a think or "happy mediums." To paraphrase from a RELEVANT podcast, it's good to have everything lukewarm 'cept your faith.

And I've talked about this before, the way extremes are bad. I really mean that. It says in I Corinthians not to be mastered by anything. To be all this or all that isn't balanced. God wants us to strive to be obedient in all situations, but rely on Grace.

I don't think churches should emphasize Truth over Grace (in fear of breeding hateful Christians) but I don't think Truth should be ignored either.

We can't get to God without obeying Him or, you know, putting forth a good effort. (But that's for another day)


Monday, November 12, 2007

that thou art in the dark and hast no light;

Grace vs. Truth. Here we go.

At the very pit of me, the very core (the mean core, the ha... HARD core) is rather rude. harsh. I want to see justice served.

My first minglings with God started with me, on my own, reading my Bible. Not just the Gospels, not just the epistles, but the nitty gritty Old Testament old-law stuff. The dark meat of the Bible.

And with that Old Testament goodness came a lot of laws that seem ridiculous, but back in the BC days, made sense. Eye for an Eye. Stone an adulterer. ETC.

What I understood before I really became what I call myself now, a Christian, I had a good grasp on justice. I knew that God hated sin and so when people sin, they're punished. It makes sense. I hate bratty kids... they need punished (no harm in that!)

But it doesn't end there.

There is a second half of the Bible... one that is pouring, overflowing with Grace. (To quote Relient K) "The beauty of Grace is that it makes life unfair."

Yes, it makes life unfair to the perfect, sinless, non-existing humans out there. Luckily we all get a good taste of Grace because we all screw up (at least once or twice).

And that Grace extends, folks. No really, it does. It means that not only does God show Grace to His followers at the pearly gates, it means that He shows Grace to the murderers, sex-offenders, greedy, bigots here on earth. Yes, I said it.

And we should do the same.

I am hurt when people are so quick to judge. I don't like it when people don't like a certain group because of their label. And I don't like when people don't put their heart into what they say.

And maybe I'm running around in circles here. I judge too, I'm harsh, I am so quick to get angry at people who are "out to get me." Or something of the sort.

What about Grace.

What about it?

Show it. With every heartstring, with every ounce of power you can squeeze out of yourself... LOVE. Be merciful for goshsakes. This is to me as much as it is to you all. Grace is what the Cross of Christ is all about. God realizing that we are only human, and forgiving us. We repent, we devote ourselves to Christ and we get an abundant life.

Let God do the judging. Let God say who is or isn't worthy of this or that.

It's not up to us.

only a [wo]man,