Friday, October 26, 2007

Beautiful Fall (more drooling thoughts on California)

It's fall in California, much like it is everywhere else in the northern hemisphere, and it is so beautiful. I love all the red and orange leaves, especially contrasted with leaves that are still green, with a few redwoods standing watch, a lone palm tree once in a while looking at the rest in confusion.

Today I was watching leaves fall from some trees, and it was both cool and sad. It's so strange to see a tree still holding most of its leaves lose so many at one time- How does that happen? How do they know? Why do some give up before others? No, I don't want or need the scientific explanation; I pretty much know it. But watching it happen sort of makes rational explanation irrelevant- there's magic and sentience in the fluttering, gold descent, not just cell disintegration and trapped glucose. I think it would be both an awesome and sad thing to sit under trees and watching while the wind blew off all their leaves in one short time period.

The vineyards in fall are so beautiful. The leaves turn the same range of colors as the trees, and you can have deep crimson, almost purple, leaves right across the street from yellow and orange ones. The hills covered in vines take on a different look and texture, as if they'd changed clothes, and it's sometimes disorienting because I feel like I'm on the wrong road or something because so many different things are standing out than when it's all green.

There was a large fox in front of a vineyard we drove by the other day. I believe it's only the 2nd fox I've ever seen not in a zoo. The first one was on the campus of UM-D, as I was coming out of the library at midnight (during finals) and there was brand-new snow everywhere. The fox ran by and I know this sounds SUPER corny, but it felt like a gift. I think that you know what I'm talking about- there's always something magical about fresh snow at night, especially if you're one of the only people around. That's not something I get to experience anymore, unless I should choose to go to snow in the winter, but the majestic hills and ocean are a fair trade.

Some thoughts I Found

I found a piece of paper in a book yesterday, and I thought it was a reaction to the book Finally Feminist by John Stackhouse, because I have that written at the top of the paper, but upon looking at the amazon page for that book, it looks like I didn't read it but I have it on my TBR list. I'm thinking then, that it is a reaction to either an article I was reading in Christianity Today or to the book A Generous Orthodoxy, which I've mentioned here before. Without editing for grammar or anything, here are my thoughts:
I am (maybe?) post-modern in that I defy category (including p.m.) & old, over-arching definitions or ways of thought, but I do not deny ultimate truth, nor am I relativistic. Sort of like anti-Big Government. I don't need your Big Church or Big Religion. No, we can't grasp Him completely, but that doesn't mean we throw out all discussion and striving for truth. He is infinite and omnipotent- He gave us His word and our minds.

I like finding things like this, because it's nice to see that I do have intelligent thought once in while (hardy har har) but these issues are an ongoing debate/investigation in my head, so finding things like this remind me of moments of clarity and also spur me on to further thought.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Listen Up

If you haven't yet listened to the podcasts at Nuclearity.org I highly suggest that you get on it. The mastermind is Hugh Duncan, a boy (well, man now) that I luuurved for at least 4 years when I was just a wee lass (Jr. & Sr. High) and God has just poured a big ol' bucket of talent out on him.

I suppose that it could most easily be described as a short, Christian, This American Life, but that's not completely fair. It is its own thing. I am consistently amazed by Hugh's insights, the interviews he gets (NT Wright!), and his skill in putting together an entertaining, thoughtful, musical program. His official target is Christian families, especially those who may grow weary of the shiny sameness of Christian radio, TV, etc, but basically, if you enjoy thinking or listening, you'll like at least some of the episodes.

An Answer to Prayer

A few weeks ago, in one of our small group Bible studies, we did an exercise where we went around the room and everyone said two things to describe one person at a time. When the group started describing me, I was trying to will my husband (or anyone, really) into saying "smart". Smart and funny are how I have always defined myself, and what I rely upon to make me valuable or to give me comfort. In the end, no one said that I was smart, but what they did say was amazing- pretty much every person described me as "loving", "welcoming", or something like that.

It took me a couple of hours, but I realized that God had placed right in my lap an answer to prayer. For about 6 years, I have been praying for God to reduce me to love. I want to see people how He does and just let His love come pouring out of me. I've prayed this desperately, not ever knowing if I was getting any closer. Am I completely loving? Hell, no. I'm still the cranky bitch that most of my old friends think of when they hear my name, but I'm way better. I'm acting out love more often, even when I don't feel it- the Holy Spirit is checking my mouth and motivations more often, and I'm not at all the same person I was even just last year.

And because God loves me so much, one of my friends from that group came up to me this past Saturday and told me that if we were to do the exercise again, she would definitely say that I'm smart. ;)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Some Descriptive Words

I'm a born-again, tree-hugging, bilingual, semi-liberal, tv-watching, Bible-thumping, tongue-talking, feminist, dieting, obedient, loving, sarcastic, gay-friendly, poor, pro-family, non-violent, animal-loving, against capital punishment, anti-abortion, unity-seeking, rich, evangelical minded, married, sentimental, romance novel-reading, racing, volunteering, working, seminarian, conflicted, Irish/Finnish/German-American who isn't quite sure what "patriotism" means, at least to me, happy, anti-social, social butterfly, language geek.

What I've learned taking Biblical/Koine Greek

I really love Spanish.