Weight of the world

Devotional Blog:

Burdens, 03/02/2012, Galatians 6:1-5, Romans 15:1-7

Are you a worry wort? I can be. I can worry about the most inane irrelevant things sometimes. Things I cannot control I worry about…I’m absolutely ridiculous sometimes, keeping myself awake at night worrying about things that are utterly pointless to worry about. And I worry about them at the MOST inopportune times as well…such as when I am taking off in a plane and I’m like–huh what if we crash? It’s really dumb as the statistics support me getting  pwnd by so many other causes before dying in a plane crash (1 in 7,032-lifetime odds, Source).

I find it funny that in the same source I have a 1 in 120,864 chance of dying by being pwnd by someones dog. In their wording–“bitten or struck by dog”. Ya that’s right, don’t you just hate it when Mitzy comes up to you and ‘bitch slaps’ you, haha, really bad joke–but really one day, her strike could kill you!

I digress…I think I’ve made my point about pointless worrying.

Continue reading “Weight of the world”

Salvation and Sugar Damning…

Devotional Blog:

Christian ‘Culture’, Depravity and Salvation, 2/29/2012, Ephesians 2:8-9

I love meeting new people, hearing new points of view listening to life adventures, life realizations and commiserating on mutual experiences. So 2012 is a leap year and there was no entry in my devotional book for this day so this is my own devotional. Honestly I do have any number of pages in the book dog eared to write about as I am fantastically behind in my posting, but I find I enjoy writing more when I am writing about something that is currently bothering or inspiring me. Enter today’s topic.

I had the pleasure of meeting someone with a very similar upbringing to myself and we bantered back and forth about being children having grown up in the church. Children who grew up in the church, most likely said their ‘salvation’ prayer at a young age, went through the ‘Christian’ motions growing up, sunday school, youth camp, retreats, revivals, door to door evangelism, whatnot. We ‘shunned’ the people we were supposed to shun or hate, we accepted the people that fit into the Christian box and we were encouraged that the greatest calling in life is that of ministry. Christian culture surrounded us, we memorized verses, held our hands up in deference to God during worship, allowed people to pray for us, we prayed for people, we knew all the ins and outs of the culture and we really didn’t have an understanding of what true ‘salvation’ was…but of course we were saved…weren’t we? Continue reading “Salvation and Sugar Damning…”

Dream within a dream

Devotional Blog:

Topic: “Pretty Good Company”, 12/29/11, John 12: 20-28

Happy Birthday Edgar Allen Poe, Born January 19, 1809. Odd way to start a devotional post complete with topic title and Bible verse by saying happy birthday to a man whose poetry and stories are often of the macabre gothic nature and depressing, but now that I’ve piqued your curiosity, stick with me…

Today’s entry is about walking into the dreams that God has given us in our lives. The visions, the promises, the hopes…and perhaps not getting to see or experience the fruits of our labors, our suffering, our patience. The author (Pam) goes onto to say, ‘you are not alone’. You are not the only one to receive great promises only to never see them come to pass in your lifetime or as Moses did, stand at the border and watch your people walk into the promise led by another man. How heinously frustrating. You do everything you believe God is telling you to do, you walk through the doors, you invest time, faith, money, more time, more faith….you sit and watch as others experience the joy that comes from their dreams or promises coming to pass and you sit. You sit, telling yourself to be patient, telling yourself God has not forgotten you, telling yourself that you want things in God’s timing. Then you look up and you say God WHEN is your timing!!!???  And you cry out…you cry out. Continue reading “Dream within a dream”

A womans place is in the home…???

Devotional Blog:

12/21/11, Topic: “Workers at Home”, Titus 2: 3-5

I’ve heard this verse used to justify a woman’s calling to ‘stay at ‘ and raise a family as opposed to being independent and working. I’m not going to say much about this books devotional entry except that I like how the author deals with this and I agree with what she says…amazing given I rarely agree with what she has to say.

Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the world of God. (Titus 2:4-5, NIV).

Now fundamentally I do not disagree with anything in this verse. I do believe that women should love their husbands and children and make them first in their lives. I do believe that women (and men) should practice self control, be kind and be subject to their husbands (or wives). Purity is a subject for another blog but I don’t necessarily disagree with what the verse says about that. And of course there’s the ‘busy at home’. In a previous blog I addressed what ‘home’ is for me…personally, growing up I was never taught that I should aspire to go to college to get my M.R.S. (Mrs.) degree. My parents were always encouraging us to go out there live our lives, get jobs and accomplish our goals and aspirations with no expectation that we should marry and have babies right away…although I know my mother would love to be a grandmother.

I think at one point my mom, when she had my little brother whose 21 years younger than me…she joked that she was tired of waiting for me to have grandbabies for her so she made another of her own.

The author of the devotional, in her studies, found that the definition of ‘busy at home’ is “worker at home”, “a guard of the home; keeper of the home; domestically inclined…” She read more opinions, studies and commentaries about the subject and they all had one common feature, a woman’s heart is at home. Her priorities and heart reflect God and a family focused value system. I can agree with this and not just because it’s ‘convenient’ for me to agree with this because of my life choices.

God can use women same as men in every aspect of life. God is an equal opportunity ’employer’ and I don’t believe it’s ‘left up to the men’ to do ‘all God’s work’. Yes, God made women to bear children and we have a more natural ‘maternal’ (obviously) disposition which makes us suited to having kids and running a home. And I am not opposed nor ever have been opposed to having kids. I love kids, I’ve just never had a ‘biological clock’. If I have kids, great, if I don’t, I don’t. And I know my own disposition, I’d go nuts from cabin fever if I had to spend 18 years at home only ‘allowed’ to raise my kids and ‘keep house’. I don’t think God intends that. We all have gifts outside the ‘home’ and while my priorities will always be my family, I think its possible and encouraging to have other ‘callings’ as well.

I agree with her when she says:  “Your feet can be anywhere but your heart should be ‘at home’.”

Where is home?

Devotional Blog:

Topic: “Home Base”, 12/12/2011, 1 Chronicles 16:43 NIV

So while the devotional entry gave me the idea of this blog…it’s actually got nothing to do with what she wrote in the book and I am citing a different verse. But I have taken her topic title of Home Base because it inspired what I will write about.

“Then all the people left, each for their own , and David returned home to bless his family.”  ~1 Chronicles 16:43 NIV

Since leaving Hawaii for college I always get the question of “so when are you going home next?” Where are you from? Where is home for you? Everytime I get asked this question it prompts me to ponder about ‘what IS home’ exactly. For me, home has always been where my folks are which over the years has changed locations many times. When we are in school we never think to call our college towns ‘home’–I certainly wouldn’t call Parkland, WA (near Tacoma) home–blech! When I moved to Bozeman, MT at first home was Hawaii…”Are you going home for the holidays?”–“Yes, I am going home.” That was years 1, 2 and 3. Around year 4 and in later years in MT I started noticing a change…”Are you going back to Hawaii for Christmas?”…”Yes, I am going back to spend Christmas with my folks.” Had I decided that Hawaii was no longer my home? Continue reading “Where is home?”

Stream-of-Christmasness

I started wanting to write this blog based on one of the devotional entries in the book about what would happen if you took the ‘Christ’ out of Christmas. My mind wandered into wikipedia reading about the history of Christmas itself. My mental wanderings continued into various conversations with friends and acquaintances talking about the mesh of pagan and religious traditions mixed into Christmas nowadays. Then of course that leads to the blatant commercialism that Christmas has become. I’ve only to travel 2 minutes by skytrain to see the influence of Christmas in Bangkok, a Buddhist country. Though they don’t officially celebrate the holiday itself by days off work, they encourage gift giving and the market places are bedecked in lights, fake trees, cardboard snowmen and other such holiday decor.

The rest of my mental wanderings are hazy at best and clarified eventually into a deluge of memories–as though I was being visited by the ghost of Christmas past… Continue reading “Stream-of-Christmasness”

Assessing the pathogenic potential of people

So it’s been a good while since I have posted anything as I’ve been attending a conference in Philadelphia, PA put on by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Following the denouement of the conference I found myself at El Vez restaurant, awesome restaurant by the way, just down from my hotel sipping on a very strong (apparently) pomegranate margarita and going over my notes whilst eating lunch. And for those of you following my blog and know I’m fasting–before you cry foul, this week I’m off it due to a number of reasons but will promptly re-initiate when I return to Bangkok. When one is fasting for a year…actually turns out to be a little longer, I have to allow myself a certain modicum of sanity. Or rather preserve what I have. In anycase, back to matter at hand…

So I’ve been at this conference for the past week and it’s proven very informative though I feel like a small genetic fish swimming in a sea of immunology and epidemiology which is a bit disconcerting, especially since I come from a completely environmental background with minimal medical/clinical knowledge.

Now I am a genetic data cruncher who enjoys population level analysis with some mathematical modelling thrown in for good measure…

I know right? The personal ad practically writes itself. Continue reading “Assessing the pathogenic potential of people”

Scaling smooth inner walls of trust

Ok after yesterdays sidetrack event of commenting on a blog I’d read entitled “I’m Christian unless you’re gay” (read it if you get a chance), now, back to the book…

Devotional Blog:

Topic: “Trust”, 11/27/2011, Jeremiah 31:1-6 and Ruth 3:5

In this section the author, Pam, goes into what it means to have a trusting relationship. She opens with something Ruth said in the Bible: “I will do whatever you say”–what guy wouldn’t want to hear that from a woman? Sorry guys, she was saying it to her mother-in-law. I find the concept of trust interesting in that I have some friends that are incredibly trusting and some that have some incredible walls built up…hell you need some seriously specialized climbing gear to get up the smooth face of their walls.

Then you inevitably ask the question ‘is it worth it?’ Which is terrible I know, they are your friend after all. But it is exceedingly frustrating to think you are making progress only to find yourself on a temporary ledge with your friend laughing at you from above…continually saying ‘you don’t know me, you can never know me’. At that point I’d just rather rappel down and call it a day. Of course self-discovery and self-trust is an ongoing process and I’m sure I’ve frustrated many a friend as well, even though I wouldn’t say I put up walls…I think rather its just a fundamental misunderstanding of personalities. You build an image of what you think someone is in your head and when that turns out to be untrue it throws you for a loop. Not because they misled you but because you built this image that wasn’t who they were inside. Its not a matter of ‘good or bad’, its just not who they were and you have to step back and decide if you are going to take the time to dispense with all your, perhaps years of, preconceived notions and really get to know the person for who they are. Sometimes we are able to do that, sometimes circumstances prevent that option.

I used to say I was very ‘guarded’ didn’t really trust anyone–but who am I kidding…its not who I am. At best I had phases of distrust that ended up evaporating as the event that triggered the distrust faded. Personally I’m a pretty open book, people don’t have to work too hard to read me. At first I was insulted because I thought of myself as a chameleon, I could put on whatever face was required and they’d never know ‘me’. So when people said  I was easy to read I was aghast…and here I thought I was this great actress. This was when it was ‘hip’ to be mysterious…ya, no, I’m not mysterious haha. I was in theater from 6th grade up through high school and some in college and didn’t get bad reviews. As an actress, ok I didn’t suck, but as a person–who am I kidding–I suck at hiding my feelings. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t stubborn. Which I know probably drove some of my friends and boyfriends and family insane, knowing something was dreadfully wrong but not being able to truly pry it out of me. Continue reading “Scaling smooth inner walls of trust”