Monday, November 23, 2009

Jimmy's Here!

Jimmy’s here! It’s delightful to introduce him to my world. It’s good to catch up on the last few months and any other issue we choose. After church we went to the coffee shop and debated the benefits/disadvantages of technology on our society. Then we walked along the river and talked about his job. I love to see him here. And watch him interacting with the people who have come to mean so much to me. Yesterday night, though, at dinner a gloom settled over me. Jim’s coming means the beginning of the end.

Dr. Bauman’s last class has come and gone. I’ve said hundreds of goodbyes to good friends. But it’s different with Dr. Bauman. Very different. How do I express my gratitude to someone who has challenged and shaped me so much? Who has invested so much into influencing me. And not only me. But thirty other people. That’s the problem. I feel like just one more person saying the same thing. And it seems so routine and inadequate. In the end all I can say is “Thanks, you’ve made a big impact on me.” I think he understands. But I wish I could say more.
With Thanksgiving on Thursday and graduation on Friday it’s a full, full week. Looking forward to it, I’m already exhausted. This last week was full of meeting with girls and organizing the arrivals and guest rooms for the 60+ extra people descending upon us for the festivities. My desk and my mind have been chaotically full of mentoring, guest rooms and arrival dates.
And all the other goodbyes are looming up. I’m sad to see the end of good times with people who have become so dear. I always figure that the tougher the goodbye, the better the friendship was. So I can’t help but consider what a unique privilege these few months have been. I am very, very grateful.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

i like my girls.

With each small group, each conversations, each interaction, I’m realizing that I just love these beautiful young women. As relationships deepen, I wish this were the beginning and not the end.

There’s something so gutsy and idealistic in the way a young person begins to wrestle with God. Trying to figure out how to trust Him, how to see life in His light. I’m glad for the experiences that bring me to the present. But I almost envy the energy, the hope, the life of those first battles. I find myself trying to catch up to my girls. Instead of being a step ahead, I am encouraging them with all the things I’m presently telling myself. In speaking of the greatness of God, I look at Him again.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


We started with John 18:36. Russell couldn’t get further than the word ‘now’; I was stuck at ‘if’. The conversation was animated. We worked ourselves across the room to the book shelf for resource (and leaning against). He waving the entirety of the Bible in front of my face every time I demanded a definition for love; periodically thumbing through the dictionary or the book of I John; then cheering whenever he scored a point in the conversation -which happened often. We didn't just travel across the room, we traveled from pacifism, to authority of government, to love as the basis for every ethical decision, to the relationship between truth and love. His biggest beef is how utilitarianism has crept into Christian thinking (or shall we properly say un-Christian thinking). Greatest good for the most people vs. love, justice, truth, hope, faith….

My mind is mulling on the conversation -
Where is the place for making decisions based on the greatest good for the greatest amount of people?
How is it different to be a citizen of God’s Kingdom and a citizen of the U.S.A.? Have we loyalties to both, or only one? Are there are different sets of morals and standards for the government than there are for people? For example, I’ve always believed that the government held a right to terminate the life of a murderer, but that individuals do not. Is that inconsistent?
Has modern Christendom thrown open the doors to reason-without-faith, allowing the wolf of ‘ends justify the means’ to creep through clothed in the fleece of ‘for the sake of love’?
Is Christ’s message counter cultural because it calls us, not to a different approach or shifting of the rules, but because he calls us to a new way of life altogether?
Ought we weigh our decisions in light of consequences, or by how they measure to the example of a new life and new spirit in Christ?
Have we lost the power of the Spirit, by relegating him to the realm of the Church and worship, adopting secular ideas for the realm of government, job, and ‘real life’?