Friday, June 26, 2009

some truth.

Who's up for a trip back to africa? Just thought of it today and want to go back. So I thought I'd post a picture. Anyway....

I think I've always been a little grown-up for my age. Being the youngest gives me certain advantages that the other kids didn't have and one of those is a perspective of life that is a little... wiser maybe or more long-term than others my age. Anyway, sometimes I go through things I've written and other miscellaneous items and I'm always amazed at some of the things I have said. And I find it so interesting that I find these things when I need them the most and it always catches me off guard. 

In the last couple years of high school I wrestled a lot with my spirituality and my religion. This crazy boy in my life challenged a lot of things that I accepted as truth for all my years. Everyone goes through this stage of life. The transition between your knowing your parent's truths and finding your own. So after months and maybe years of sorting these feelings out I decided that I wanted to write down what I believed. I wanted to be able to form complete, concrete thoughts about all the things I believed in. The reason I'm bringing this up now is because I just found the file on my computer and it was really good for me to read it again. If you're ever lookin for a bit of a challenge I'd encourage you to write down what you believe. It's harder than you think. 

I thought I'd share a couple of the things I found. Because... that's what we do. We share with each other. So here you go. 

I believe that God is the one, true Savior. He died because of His passionate, intense love for His people, He was the ultimate sacrifice for our sin and remains that sacrifice today. I believe that while on earth, Jesus’ main goal was to love all people, regardless of who they were. This love also set an example for all followers to come. Our deepest mission is to Love each other.

In a generation and movement that are so focused on love I believe that there are some things missing. I think the general mission of being able to love everyone around us and accept everyone is an excellent one, but love without God is empty. As Christians we are to love like Jesus did and in that love we give God the credit, the glory. Too many times people leave out God when He should be the goal. Love alone does not bring a world together in Christ, Love through God does. 

I believe in forgiveness. I believe that God desires for us to come to Him with everything, unashamed. God can give us new life and when we come to Him with our crap He can take it all away. However, I believe that along with God’s forgiveness there has to be restoration. We have to allow ourselves to be healed and work to grow from our past. Forgiveness can only truly begin to take shape in our lives if we allow it to transform us to become the people God made us to be.

I am a Christian. I claim Christianity not as a group of people with restrictions and a precise set of beliefs, but as one that is focused on becoming more and more like Christ. To be a Christian is to live like Jesus lived. I love what Rob Bell says, “Christian is a great noun, but a terrible adjective.”  I want my actions to reflect those of Christ’s. It would be truly incredible if Christianity could be transformed to look more like Christ and less like… it is now. 

The last one seemed to call out to me this week because sometimes I think I avoid the label of Christian at risk of people to thinking I'm some sort of crazy person all tied up in religion. But then to never claim that I am Christian - that is, a Christ-follower - I run the risk of living my whole life without people knowing that I do what I do and I am what I am because of my Savior's deep, deep love for me. You know? 

It was good to hear my 2006-self say those words. It gave me a sense of renewal and I appreciate that. 

Sunday, June 7, 2009

interstate 435.

I was running around the other day doing some errands and the craziest thing happened. I was on one side of town and needed to get to the other side, so what did I do? I hopped on the 435 and was there in no time. What's the big deal, right? I'll tell ya! I don't drive on the freeway as an everyday means of transportation. In fact, altogether in the last year this was the 4th time I've driven on the freeway. For one, there are like 3 freeways here compared to the one in Idaho. So I've been at risk of getting on one and taking myself to who knows where. Two, these freeways don't just go in one straight line like I-84. They're all big and there are all these things you have to do to insure that you're not accidentally getting on one freeway from another. It's all a big t0-do really. So you can see why I stick to surface streets, right? But not the other day. The other day I took the dive. 

After I was done with my errands, almost back to my house I realized that what I did was pretty major. Part of my not going on the freeway I think was in part of little bit of me just rejecting all things Kansas. It sounds silly, I'm sure, that a roadway system is infiltrating my thoughts this much. But just deciding to brave the freeway and be a real kansan felt like I was starting to get over all that silly stuff.  And mainly what I realized is that I'm happy here for right now and I think I've been happy for a while. It has just been hard to embrace that because how do you embrace happiness here while still remembering it there? Do you understand what I mean? Maybe it's a silly train of though since I should just be happy about being happy. There is just something inside of me that is afraid of forgetting Idaho. Because I love Idaho. And I still miss it terribly. I miss my family and my friends and my school. But I like living here. What I really want is for the two to be one, you see? I don't see an issue with that. :) 

This is me on a good day of course. Somedays are not good days and I want to go back to Idaho and forget about this whole thing. But right now I am thankful for this frame of mind. I've loved having Aimee home for the summer. It's so nice to have a friend! That is our next step - finding friends. I want to say thank you to those of you who read this and have said a prayer for Ryan and I as we've struggled to find our place here. Please continue to pray for us because we're not done yet! 

Hope you're having a wonderful summer. Come visit!