Archive for April, 2008

wedding mania

And,… there is it — the first wedding I’ll attend, to quote John, ‘as a grown-up.’ The last one I attended was when my discipler from my home church got married summer after high school…  but since that one was in Wheaton, and planned out accordingly so with the slew of other girls who were in the wedding, I’m not sure it counts as a ‘wedding’ persay.

But now,.. someone from college is getting married. I know the bride a lot better than the groom — she and I met up every week when she was a grad student and I was a dumb freshman,… sharing about our own walks and scripture and God’s heart for missions and praying, many hours praying at the fading wooden tables in Ivy Room. I’m so excited to see her start a new chapter of life with her hubby :)

And so it starts! The weddings, the scrambling for plane tickets and gifts and dresses… ahhhh. It still seems surreal that I’m old enough to start going to these things,… just the other day it seems like I was still seventeen and prancing around in the parking lot outside the wedding rehearsal dinner, wondering what the future would bring outside of suburbia Chicago…

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The Church

A phrase (or, I guess, moreso a collection of words than a phrase) I hear tossed around a lot is, the church.

The Church isn’t meeting my needs right now.

I’m so dissappointed sometimes in The Church for being so hostile to nonbelievers.

I can’t believe The Church would make such an outrageous statement on homosexual marriages.

The Jesus behind it all is fine,… I just don’t really like The Church.

Sometimes, upon hearing such phrases — and knowing that I myself have used this illustrious phrase more than once — I wonder… who am I actually talking about? Is it a group of snotty people sitting somewhere, reciting their memorized bible verses and shunning the lost & poor? Are they people you hear about the news, or people whom seem to wrong those you love, or those whom seem to say the wrong thing or make the wrong decisions? Are they those you see on the news, the fundamental or mega-church congregations?

To those issues, I hold this challenge… You are the church. Jesus proclaims one Body, one resurrection, one church that He will call His bride and rapture prefix to the second coming. Yet… we impose such judgments, divisions on ourselves.

If we wish to truly see a change in The Church in our generation,… well,… I think we need to become the church first. And until then, we have no excuse to blame issues that are caused by the sinfulness that is oh so ingrained into our own bodies as others (to quote Relient K, I’ll point one finger at you, and four back at me.)

American Idol Jesus

For those of you who don’t know, Tuesday night was the showing of American Idol Gives Back — an overall attempt for hedonistic activism, but nonetheless a noble cause. I had only watched part of it, but it mostly consisted of the remaining 8 contestants singing feel-good songs, showing celebrities vouching to raise money for certain causes, and videos of actual celebs visiting certain areas (Miley Cyrus, Brad Pitt, etc.) and helping out. I must say that, watching the rich and the famous prance around in their $$$ outfits and designer glasses while trying to reach out is amusing (in the satirical way) in itself.

I didn’t find out this until later, when I read a Joshua Harris’ reflection of the night, that the last song sung was Shout to the Lord (an original Darlene Zschech/Hillsong song). But, instead of the normal first line “My Jesus, My Savior,” American Idol had changed it to, “My Shepherd, My savior.” Now, I’m still not really quite sure why this was done, because 1. In a failed attempt to be PC, it’s pretty clear which Savior you’re talking about when the next line says, Lord there is none like You. And, 2. The producers know that right after the showing, you’re going to get evangelical christians nation-wise asking themselves, where did the Jesus go?? (A question I ask myself often when looking into the media/culture today..)

But that’s not it. On Wed. night, American Idol started the show off again with Shout to the Lord — except this time, with the correct lyrics of My Jesus, My Savior.

Compare for yourself:

Tuesday Night: http://youtube.com/watch?v=chXEraRnE4o
Wednesday Night: http://youtube.com/watch?v=i6G0U8Vg6nY

This whole American Idol controversy has already stirred up a good mount of debate on both the Christian and non-Christian fronts, which tend to revolve around, “i feel so offended… why does American Idol want to convert me?!” to, “…. How could they leave out Jesus?? Is American that pagan?” For more thoughtful critiques, feel free to read Joshua Harris’ follow-up post, or Michael Giltz’s comments from the Huffington Post.

Now, for some of you, this whole matter might seem trite. I mean, it’s just using Jesus one night, and Shepherd another, right? They’re technically the same name for the same Savior, right? But… what is it about the name Jesus that is so seemingly daunting that a change to a sheep-herder would make it seem more innocuous? Why would producers let a unquestionably Christian song be sung on national television, only to offend those to whom it might appeal to?

one week

One week ago, it was still.
There are a million and one things I should be taking care of right now. Studying for tonight’s exam. Doing my quantum problem set. Taking care of the document for my project team. This and this and all of these urgents that really aren’t important in the long run. Packing for Ivy League Congress…. maybe a little more important.

This was how it was before CUP, I remember. A heart confused and tattered, mostly through masochism. Windstruck and thoughts of what could have been and what was lost and what I didn’t have. Into the next day with my mask pulled on, only to see Daddy cares about my fragile heart more than what VBS I could do.

What is to come? What does the future bring? I stare into May and June and July and 2009 hesitantly. God on my side? Always,… is that enough for you? Am i enough for You?


My flesh and heart may fail,…. yet I still try to do it on my own.
Dad,… please give me the strength to see the light of tomorrow.

collide

every morning, i wake up and the truth of my status hits me like a cold shower.

Daddy, i’m not ready for this week…

whole

take my body, build it up

may it be broken as an offering of love

i have nothing,… i have nothing

without You