Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Reading the New Testament through recently I was struck by two things.
1. How incredibly central the Holy Spirit was to those people, and how the Holy Spirit was worshiped and glorified.
2. How much those people longed for heaven, and how heaven focussed they were.
Two themes I have been giving much thought too. I think that the modern church, here in Westernese, a. ignores the Holy Spirit too much (bar some movements obviously) and b. is far too earth focussed.
Unfortunately Dad has stolen the heater and my hands are beginning to freeze to the keyboard and my back to front mouse. I will expand later, so please hold the firing squad.
Monday, June 27, 2005
This is the story - when Elijah went into the wilderness to meet with God and there was an earthquake, but God wasn't in the earthquake. Then there was a wind, but God wasn't in the wind, and finally a fire, but God wasn't in the fire. And the "after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper". And God spoke in a still small voice.
One of the passages I have passed through is that of the still small voice. I learned to let go of the longing for the supernatural, and yearn instead for the gentle whisper. I learned to be lead not by the external but by the internal. The Counselor lives in me.
I have heard criticism of the Western Church, that the 'signs' of God, or the supernatural isn't so prevalent as it is in the Developing World's church. I'm not sure that this is actually a bad thing. Signs and wonders are a marvel, and there IS great power evident in the church of the Two Thirds World. I am excited and challenged by that. But I do not think that the visible lack of supernatural signs and wonders in the Western Church is a reflection of its lack. God moves in mysterious ways.
Wondrous and marvelous miracles have been performed in my life, but the still quiet Voice is the One I treasure
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Plus, now I can actually blog properly, and at regular intervals, instead of posting moans irregularly.
God has looked after me so much, I don't deserve it! My last exam stressed me out BIG TIME, but God helped me study perfectly, so that I was able to answer the questions as well as I possibly could. I couldn't have done better at that exam, even if I'd done hours more study. God is good!
So now, looking forward to Dave Dobbyn next weekend, and moving in the fortnight following that. Wow, flatting. It's a big move for me, but I feel ready and excited.
So yeah, I promise this is the last bad post I post. Promise
Monday, June 20, 2005
I did, however, spent the best part of this afternoon doing the wrong reading.
I also went to pick up my essay today, and discovered that it had not been handed in. Doh. Well, I submitted it via the intranet system at Uni, and it failed. Nevermind, my lecturer is the best, and he marked it for me then and there (I got an A). That was the one about Pakeha ethnicity.
Now I should be in bed trying to get rid of the dark circles under my eyes. But I'm not, I'm up reading all your bloogs and trying not to think about politics. I think I will not vote this year. It seems clear to me that all parties are essentially the same, and nothing really changes. It is in the interests of the power elite to maintain the status quo, and thus it is maintained.
Interesting from today's study (about ratings...actually really enjoyed it once I got into it): that the media does not tell us what to think, only what to think about, that is, they set the agenda. Nobody talks about Rwanda, unless its on the news. Or, more subtly, the media does talk (at length) about the alleged corruption in the goverments of low income countries like Indonesia, but they fail to mention the corruption rife in the governments of America, the UK and our own precious place. Yes, and thus the agenda is set (and the status quo maintained).
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Anyway mine was about Race and Ethnicity, and why sociologists don't use the term race anymore, and why they find the term ethnicity more useful. Now I wont recreate my entire essay here - but I wanted to relate some things I found really interesting.
The first was that 'race' is actually a social construction (I seem to use that term a lot at the moment) rather than a biological fact. There is, in fact, no biological or genetic basis for 'race'. There is not one gene that is found only in one 'race' - so there are no genetic 'races' and the difference, genetically, between two people in different 'races' is smaller than the difference between two people within a 'race'.
Lets put that into concrete terms. Take a Scotsman and Nigerian. The difference in their genes is smaller than the difference between two Scotsman, or two Nigerian. Interesting eh! So, when people talk about 'blood' or being half something or quarter something, it's actually very meaningless. Or, completely meaningless.
SO this leaves us with ethnicity. And this is why it's so ridiculous to say "oh well so and so isn't REALLY Maori because he's only half Maori" or "they can't say they're Maori becuase they're half Pakeha" or whatever. Because what are you saying? As far as blood is concerned, nothing. Ethnicity is about identity and culture. Our heritage gives us certian cultural and ethnic resources, which we can choose to use or not - depending on our circumstances or what we value.
Anyway, these are just two interesting points that I thought I'd share.
Simona's was about White Collar Crime. VERY interesting. I actually probably did beat her anyway.
Anyway, she finished with the funniest story I've ever heard, I laughed until tears ran down my cheeks. But the laughter unlocked something in me, and suddenly, while everyone was still laughing, I found myself crying.
I felt sudden deep raw pain.
What is it doing there?
(I feel fine now)
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
The problem is, I am not panicked. I have no panic. None. I feel calm. I don't feel worried. It's like some kind of weird dream.
I will probably fail.
But, I just have no panic.
Because, I know I wont fail.
That is the problem.
And I am TIRED.
And there are so many interesting and fun things to do with my time.
Like this. And visiting Shannon and Amy at Opawa, and going to the Art Gallery, and setting up still more blogs. And emailing.
And thinking about artworks I could do, and poems I could write, and songs I could sing.
And planning trips to Kaikoura.
And going flatting.
I need to PUSH THE PANIC BUTTON! But, it has disappeared.
Monday, June 13, 2005
I actually don't mind exams, as long as I am prepared, and I don't mind preparing because my papers are so inordinately interesting. Plus, I only have two. One is an introductory sociology course which I could sit right now and pass, and the other one is Media Audiences which may prove a wee bit more tricky.
All and all, not too much to worry about.
Which, unfortunately, leaves my mind free to worry about all the other, aforementioned, things.
But yesterday I went to my raging pentecostal church in the morning (complete with end-times sermon) and sung one of my favorite songs: "Everything's alright, I got Jesus with me. Everything's alright, my Saviour's walking with me!". It's such a joyful song, and the truth of it pierces my soul:- "I know you can do all things, no plan of yours can be thwarted" (Job 42:2). HE holds my life in His hands, and thus, I am safe.
The lump of joy in my chest pushes a smile onto my face, and I am content.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
I am confused. I am unsure as to how well exactly I have worked through my 'baggage' (I thought it was done)
I am confused. I have made some bad financial choices in the past, and now I don't now what to do about them.
I am confused. I thought I heard from God about a certian action I was to take, and now it seems like I heard wrong.
I am confused. By all this talk of women and who I am supposed to be.
I am confused. I thought I was so secure about myself, and now I meet new people and find myself wondering if they like me and if so, why they would.
I am confused. Stuck in the middle.
That's not to say I am unhappy, just that I am confused.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
And I quote:
Although we believe God is all-powerful and does indeed perform miracles, we do not believe the current charismatic trends in the Church are Biblical. He is Lord of all, sovereign and holy, and He does not violate His Word. In addition, we also lift up traditional Christian standards such as...
A belief that God is sovereign. This trust in God's work in our lives impacts the way we live and what we believe. For instance, many on this list believe God is the one who determines family size.
A belief that women are to be modest in dress and behavior. Although there is a general level of modesty that should be maintained (and can be discussed), we believe the father of each household must set the exact standard of dress for his own wife and daughters. Therefore, we ask that detailed discussions on this subject be directed to him.
A belief that women should be trained to primarily be keepers at home. For the most part, this would include staying home under her father's authority until she is married and then serving her husband and children in the home.
A belief that it is God's best for children to be schooled at home.
A belief that it is God's will for wives to be in submission to their husband's authority and for unmarried daughters to be obedient to her parents and under her father's authority until the time that God provides a husband.
A belief that women should not hold positions of leadership in the local Church body.
I laughed until tears ran down my face. I worried about my friends. I felt confused about my life. I felt happy and free. I tried not to think about my 2500 word essay and my 1500 word learning journal due on Friday. I felt hopeful about the future. I marvelled that I have found such great community. I watched my best friends be themselves fully and freely. I sang Karaoke sort of. I slept during the day.
I come home and life assails me once again with its questions and confusions and assignments, (which were there even on the weekend but only quietly).
But still I have the weekend on my mind.
Me, Lee Ann, Brodie, Danielle, Simona with Shannon and Amy in front!
Friday, June 03, 2005
Me and Amy have been talking about how much we compare ourselves to other people, and how that is always in a negative light. I wish I were thin, or more quiet or more serious...I look at people who are those things and hold them up for comparison with myself. The key step in life is to STOP doing this, and to accept that you differ from them in a myriad of visible and invisible ways. Amy and I are two very unique and different people with unique and different gifts. If I compare myself to her I feel crap about myself, and if she compares herself to me...well okay she probably feels fantastic but hey! You get what I am saying here.
Once I stop comparing myself to her (and so setting her up as an idol in my life) I can focus on who I am, and how God made me. The other end of the continuum is the same - that I see myself as right and everyone else as wrong. I am PASSIONATE about ending poverty, and some people just aren't. But I have to simultaneously accept myself as I am, and them as they are. It's great I care about those things, and its great they don't because then they are free to care about things I don't really consider. You see? It all fits together.
So, you can see that pride and low self esteem are two ends of the same continuum. It's all just not seeing ourselves as God sees us. When we can balance these two extremes, we are free. Free to live out our lives as God has called us to, and to enable and encourage others to live out theirs. Free to move into the better and deeper things God calls us too.