Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mandarin Oranges

We took a drive through (ahem. thrrrrough) downtown Gary today. And I loved it. Me, my parents, and this amazing senior went to this women's and children's shelter to drop off the two car-fulls of clothes our school collected. Which was amazing. We used this huge can of mandarin oranges to prop open the door while we carried garbage bag after garbage bag into the little donations room. The ladies were so sweet, and it was really great getting to talk with them a bit after the clothes were brought in.  Things like that should definitely become normal for me, I think. We drove around Gary for a while after that... haha, which was a bit out of my comfort zone. Chirch said that he wanted to show us more, but he wasn't going to turn down streets that he didn't know, not because he was afraid of getting lost, but because just a few minutes on the wrong street would potentially end in, er, catastrophe. And you know what really got my attention? Was that there were maybe... oh, three (bah, thrrrree) buildings I saw the entire time we were driving that had every single window intact. For whatever reason, I LOVE the way that broken windows look... (not sure why..) but this was horrible. Dead of winter in Northwest Indiana, and people were living in these homes that allowed the cold, chilling air right in. Not that they were leaving the broken windows there out of laziness, either. The only thrrree or so building that I saw with intact windows were... church buildings. Hmm.. and while we were driving, Chirch & Danny were discussing a lot of issues that had been brought up in chapel, Bible classes, and elsewhere... It was really neat to hear, especially since I haven't had much of an opportunity to listen to these two guys talk together. Hopefully, as the year goes on, I'll share a little but if that, eh?
         Let's just say, for now, that it's caused me to admire Rich Mullins even more than ever. And that's saying something. And you know what, thanks for reading this. It means a lot.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Thanks, Disney

I was conviceted. By a Disney Song.
Crazy, right? It was weird, lemme tell ya... I never would have expected it.
If you've never heard it, I posted it below. So scroll down, listen to it, then come back to read this, aight?
You see, at the time this movie [The Hunchback of Notre Dame] was set, gypsies were pretty much te epitome of "outcasts;" they had a reputation for being thieves, fortune tellers, seducers, and trouble-makers. They wandered from town to town, homeless vagabonds. Nobody liked them. Even the "church" people. They ask for money, fame, glory... when really, none of that mattered. They should have seen the need, and, instead of asking God why He wouldn't help them, actually get out there and be the hands and feet of God.
I heard this story once, about two friends who were talking. The first guy says that he has a question for God. The second guy asks him why he doesn't ask. Guy Number One says he's afraid. When the second guy asks him why he's afraid, the first guy says,"I'm afraid that God will ask ME the same question."
Lord, give us strength to help the outcasts... 'cause really, that's what you were, in a way..

God Help The Outcasts

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Little Things

Today, I gave two guys in my English class the hair that was leftover after I got it cut. One gave me a hug, the other told me that he would keep it for forever. It pretty much made my day. (For those of you who don't go to my school, you have my pity, 'cause it's pretty amazing.) But, whether you go to a really awesome school, a really lame school, or not to a school at all, don't you agree that it's the little things that really make your day?
Like the cookie someone gives you, or spending your lunch hour drawing a picture of your math theacher killing a cat to save her greometry class... or any number of things!! (Like planning to take over the entire Western Hemisphere!! Easier than it would seem...)

So today, my mission: Fill my day with as many little things I can do for others... 'cause really, that's all a day is: a bunch of little things. :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

We Take Nothing

I don't know about you guys, but I was born naked and illiterate. I didn't come into this world with money, or fame, or the means to keep myself alive. I wasn't born with shoes or books or best friends. I was born with nothing, and when I die, I will take nothing with me. Not even clothes, like Job says, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart." No material possessions will I be able to bring to Heaven.
So why all this time spent trying to satisfy every little want? A teakettle, new sandals, that really cool movie I saw at the resale shop for 50 cents (The Princess Bride, no joke!), none of it will go with me.

On Friday, Chirch showed us this clip from Schindler's List. Basically, the guy gave up his entire fortune to bribe other Nazi's so he could save the lives of Jews. And near the last scene, when he's about to go into hiding, Schindler says, "I could have gotten more out.. if only I'd had more money.. I threw away so much money.. Look at this car, why did I keep this car?

And he is in anguish over this, why he was so selfish as to keep a car, a car that he could never take with him, when the amount of money could have saved the lives of ten more people. He realized how valuable those people were, and how worthless in comparison a car is.

It was convicting for me, to see a guy who gave up everything, risking his own life, to say that he should have done more, that he could have done more. And then there's Sam over here who has risked nothing, given up nothing.. while there is so much I can give. Possessions, when we stand before God's throne, mean nothing. We are called to gather up treasures in Heaven. Because really, that's all that's going to matter anyway.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Second Chance - Hillsong

A Selfish, Silly Little Sinner.

Anger, Embarrassment, Infatuation, Frustration, Resentment --- It's amazing how easily these emotions can grip our entire self and rock our actions out of control.
Last night, around... oh, 9:58, my mom informed me that I needed to put my book down and get ready for bed. Perhaps it was the book, or my mood, or (as i would like to think) my mom's irritated tone, but, whatever the case, I could feel the bubbles and geysers of indignation rise up in my chest. In the most conversational voice I could manage, I informed my mom that I still had a full two minutes until my bedtime. To which she (curtly) replied that, if my room was not ready, nor my my pajamas on, I would not be on time getting to bed. Especially now that another minute had passed.
That all-consuming indignation? Yeah... kicking in right about here. And the frustrating part-- I knew that she was right and I should have been getting ready for bed. So I bit my tongue, holding back a torrent of rude, selfish, hurtful things that one should never say to their mother. (& yes, i freely admit-- I was being a straight-up BAD example here.)  So I then said "goodnight" to both her and Derek, and walked up to my room in order to make that "all-important" bedtime.
And as I lay in bed, thinking up all sorts of nasty things to say if ever given the chance (umm.. yeah right), I began to marvel at just how much that singular feeling, that false indignation, was consuming me. If you can ever relate, you must realize just how difficult it is, in such a situation, to think about anything else. (Especially at bedtime, I mean... I always do my BEST thinking then... but that's a topic for another blog.)
I still need to apologize specifically about this to my mom... (& please, don't think that this is just a rant against her. I love my mom. A whole lot.) and, in a selfish way, I still don't think my apology is deserved...
But then, once I've let the feeling subside, I begin to realize how petty it is and how foolish my actions can be. I think I've learned my lesson for the day.

And Jesus? Thank you for never giving up on a selfish, silly little sinner like me.