Friday, July 13, 2007

Things I Loved This Week

On TV: My husband and I have been hooked on the World Series of Pop Culture. We are sitting there yelling at the TV and thinking we should form our own team and make a run for it next year. OK, so if I had gotten that category on Kevin Bacon movies, I would have been screwed, but I was awesome at the Saturday Night Live skits category. SCHWING! Also, I loved the Singing Bee. Another games I would rock at. Sadly, I was standing in line at the movie theater so I missed Don't Forget the Lyrics which I heard was good, too. That brings me to...

Movies: LOVED Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I can't say it was my favorite out of all the HP movies, but I liked it. I like more of the fun magic stuff, but the movies will be dark from here on out, because the rest of the books are. Plus, there is just so much stuff they have to leave out because of time constraints. Anyway, I love seeing the books come to life on screen. Good stuff. I also saw Transformers and love it too. I really thought I would hate it, but I didn't. I like giant talking robots. And that Shia Lebouf is a cutie.

Music: My husband went to Cornerstone Music Festival 2 weeks ago and came back with a bunch of new bands for me to try out. This week I've really been enjoying Rosie Thomas, Sufjan Stevens, and Cool Hand Luke.

Books: I finished Blue Like Jazz and it was so great. There is a ton of great, practical spiritual advice in there. I started reading Mere Christianity for a book study I am doing. It is deep, but I am trying to get it. C.S. Lewis makes really amazing arguments. At the end of one I'm always slightly confused and amazed at the same time. Also, I pre-orded Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow on Amazon this week. It is guaranteed to be delivered on July 21 when the book comes out, but I am slightly skeptical. We do live way out the country and all.

Other Stuff: I found clips of montages of the pranks Jim and Pam pull on Dwight from The Office on You Tube. The pranks from Season 1 are here. You can find the others from that page. Also, I love this:

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Life Lessons from a Belly Shirt

This morning I was driving to work. I was feeling good cause I'm having a good hair day and my husband told me I was looking good. I was listening to Rosie Thomas and feeling really calm and mellow. When suddenly, I look to my left and see a grown man, at least my dad's age, jogging in a belly shirt. And I burst out laughing. At least he was kinda in shape. I just think that perfectly describes my life. I am cruising along, feeling good and mellow, when something hilarious happens and shakes things up a little bit. And I love it that way. I love laughing at what crazy things life throws at me sometimes.

Friday, July 6, 2007

I Don't Even Like Math

"When we reduce Christianity to math, we defile the Holy... Many of our attempts to understand Christian faith have only cheapened it. I can no more understand the totality of God than the pancake I made for breakfast understands the complexity of me. The little we do understand, that grain of sand our minds are capable of grasping, those ideas such as God is good, God feels, God loves, God knows all, are enough to keep our hearts dwelling on His majesty and otherness forever." Blue Like Jazz, p. 202

I'm in love with my doubt. That's a line from a Copeland song that I love because it describes my relationship with God so perfectly. It's eloquent. I was almost becoming proud of it. See, it's not my fault I'm doubting God. I'm in love with my doubt. People do crazy things when they fall in love. They can't be held responsible for what they do during that time. Their head just isn't thinking right. I have been doubting God for a while now. The weird thing is, I don't shun church or anything. I work at a church. I still go except for when I really want to sleep in. I still read religious books. I just don't quite buy it all. I'm not sure when I became such a realist. It might have been while I was studying Religion in college, oddly enough. When I became so sure that being logical and intelligent was the most important thing. When I decided I didn't want other people, non-Christians, to look at me and think I am crazy or stupid to believe in things like a virgin birth, resurrection from the dead, the ability to be saved from hell by believing that Christ was the son of God who was sent to earth with the soul purpose of sacrificing himself for our sins. I was just becoming convinced that I was never going to be able to fully believe these things because it's just not logical. I just can't wrap my mind around it. I've talked to my husband about it alot. Our struggles in our relationships with God are very different. He is probably the smartest person I know and the logical argument doesn't make a lick of difference to him. "I just believe," he says. "You just have to have faith, and I do." That blows me away. I want God to fit into this box that I have label precisely for him. He will go here where I can see him and study him and understand him and how he works and hear him. But in my heart I know. That isn't how God works. If I spend my whole life trying to get him to work that way, I will never ever find him.
So this passage was inspiring to me. For some reason, it just made me see this they way I needed to. I am trying to make Christian spirituality MATH. MATH FOR HEAVENS SAKE! Math is so common, so boring, so scientific. I have been stripping God of his holiness and replacing it with MATH. I'm an idiot. Christianity isn't math. It's sacred. I understand sacred things. In fact, I love them. I love old, old sacred music. I can almost relate to it more that praise choruses. (I know, I sound like I'm 60... stay with me here.) Old sacred music make me feel like it is a time with only me and God. Like back before the world became complicated and things got in the way. It seems to me like you could be closer to God then, like there weren't as many distractions. But I'm sure those people found distractions just like I do. I also love old sacred buildings. I absolutely adore old churches. When I was in Britain and Ireland, I must have seen a hundred old churches. And I never got tired of it. I could just stand there and feel God. Just be in awe that these amazing structures were created to honor him. And I love sacred art. And traditional sacred practices. See where this is going here? I am an idiot. How can I love those sacred things so much and yet want to boil God down to a science. God is holy and divine and we're not supposed to understand him. It's not like I've completely had a 180 here. But I have the desire to have a 180 and that desire has even been missing for a while. It's time for me to feel God and trust God without holding him in my hand. It's time for me to let God go and be what he truly is. I hope I can do this and as a result he can show me who he truly is in a way I can understand while still simply believing.

Andrew the Protester

This just made me laugh:

"Andrew the Protester, the tall good-looking one with dark hair and the beard, the one that looks like a young Fidel Castro, was the activist in our bachelor family. He is the guy I told you about with whom I go to protests. He works with the homeless downtown and is studying at Portland State to become a social worker. He is always talking about how outrageous Republicans are or how wrong it is to eat beef. I honestly don't know how Andrew got so tall without eating beef." Blue Like Jazz, p. 178

Monday, July 2, 2007

New Pet Peeve

My new pet peeve is when people talk for a really long time and have that ability that they don't pause between sentences so the person they are talking to cannot even manage to get in one single syllable and you must just stand there are listen to the person blather on about nothing (and it is usually the same nothing they blathered on to you about last time you had the misfortune of being cornered by this person) and really the sound of their voice bothers you so much that you just want to cover your ears and run away like a small child when they hear something they don't like but you can't do that because you are a grown person and grown people can't just DO that sort of thing and get away with it and so you must stand there and nod and try to smile and it's even worse when they are saying things you disagree with but you don't want to stay and get stuck in an even longer conversation so you just agree with their ridiculous theories and ignorant political ideas just so you can escape to somewhere where you can find glorious, glorious silence.

A Case of the Mondays

So, here's the thing. I really hate Mondays. Like I have an unnatural hatred for them. I don't hate my job or anything. my weeks are not miserable and I don't dread the week starting. I just hate Mondays. I never get enough sleep on Sunday nights and as a result I am nearly always in the vilest of moods on Monday morning. I mean I just want to bite people's heads off. On Monday mornings I need to be able to work in a room alone with no one to bother me or even dare speak to me. I, however, am a church secretary. Not exactly a job where you can shut yourself off from the rest of the world. This morning I was already in a bad mood when a man walked in the office to complain about some work I had not done to his liking (which was absolutely not my fault, and I'm not just saying that, I would own up to it if it was). But he didn't confront me about the problem. He just stood at my co-worker's desk and complained about my competence, when I can clearly hear him on the other side of the partition. My God, I hope I never become a hateful old hag that is never happy with anything no matter what. Seriously, this church is full of them. I just want to shake them and say, where does that attitude come from?? Where is Jesus in you?? If you are the face of Christianity in this community (which is a very old community cause tons of people retire here) then no wonder we can't get more people interested in our beliefs. So it really makes me furious. So now I am furious on top of having my regular old case of the Mondays. So now I REALLY wish I had a room I could shut myself up in and not have to talk to anyone the rest of the day. Or, mostly, I wish I could just go back to bed.