Friday, November 12, 2010

Home :)

I'm going home this weekend after being away from Nashville longer than I ever have been.
Nothing like home sweet home.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pride and Prejudice.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

I wish to see a change in the Church... and I've been struggling with it/ thinking about it for a long time. God showed me this weekend that in order to see that change, I need to embody that change. And I think most of the things that bother me in the Church are only frustrating to me because they reflect the dying, decaying parts of myself.
Pride. As Christians, we are called to be everything but proud, unless we are proud of Christ's death and resurrection (Gal 6:14). Why, then, do so many of us continue to "brag" about our spirituality, our closeness to Christ, our achievements, our behaviors? The possibilities are endless of the things we can (and do) boast about. I'm sick of it! I am sick of feeling like I need to prove myself. You may be thinking, "Hallie, that's your problem. You don't have anything to prove, and it's entirely your doing/ your fault if you feel like you need to prove something to people." I would agree--I'm at fault. But, I think this issue with pride is a group effort from the Church. I was raised in a church where people cared more about their spiritual appearance than the glorification of God. In effect, I have inherited the practice of bragging, competing, etc. in my spiritual life and relations with others. Maybe, I wouldn't be as proud and competitive and proud if I had never felt "challenged" by my spiritual peers. How do we defeat pride? It's destroying our Church. It's destroying our ability to draw close to God.
Side note. The number 13 has been EVERYWHERE for me lately. Let me give you a few examples. I was born on the 13th in room 213, my boyfriend was born on the 13th, I look at the clock every day at 10:13, I see the number 13 everywhere I look... so there must be some significance, right? God revealed to me a while ago that my life would be similar to the life of Jeremiah... or at least that the book of Jeremiah would be helpful for me for my entire life. Sunday, I read Jeremiah 13. Here's the jist (although I recommend you go read the whole thing for yourself!)
Basically, the Lord asks Jeremiah to buy a loincloth and bury it under a rock by the river. After a long time, the Lord asks Jeremiah to go and take it out. When he does, the loincloth is rotting and decaying. Here's what the Lord says: "This shows how I will rot away the pride of Judah and Jerusalem. These wicked people refuse to listen to me. They stubbornly follow their own desires and worship other gods. Therefore, they will become like this loincloth--good for nothing! As a loincloth clings to a man's waist, so I created Judah and Israel to cling to me. They were to be my people, my pride, my glory--an honor to my Name. But they would not listen to me." -Jer. 13:8-11
We are not to be proud. We are to be God's pride. I don't know how to get there, or even how to start the journey. But I'm ready to go.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Take a look at my beautiful friend Ali and I. I'm pretty proud of these:

She's pretty great. I like to quote our friend Ryan: "I can't see the world existing without you and Ali being friends." We had a fabulous weekend in Tulsa for Halloween! It's becoming a tradition now; this was year two of a Halloween in Tulsa for me. We went to a Hmong festival, played with a flame thrower, watched Polar Express and Fight Club (the classic combo), and even.... get ready... learned the dance to THRILLER. The only thing that could have made it better would be our dear friend Jenna's presence. Here's a little peek at our MJ debut:

It was a blast. Yes, that is Ali's dad on the right. 
I know, you may be impressed/shocked/surprised by all of the pictures on here! I figure I gotta spice it up sometimes. However, interestingly enough, this blog post was actually inspired by my lost phone last week and my lost keys yesterday. Last week, my phone mysteriously disappeared. There were, so I thought, only two places where my phone could be... and it was in neither of those places. So, I gave up on it and am now using my old, ghetto, orange phone (Sounds fabulous, right??).  If you've ever lost a phone, you understand the stress that comes with that. I've felt that stress multiplied, because I have lost enough phones that my parents just laugh when I tell them I've lost something else valuable and expensive... and I'm tired of disappointing them. Anyways, come Tuesday, I had received my new/old phone and could breathe a heavy sigh of relief. Ahhhh.
Sounds like a happy ending, right? Just wait! There's more
Yesterday, I remembered that I hadn't seen my keys since lunchtime on Tuesday. Never fear, I continued  to search for my keys at Qdoba, Starbucks, my dorm room, All About Cha, the OC Admissions Office, Logan's car, my dorm room again, and they were nowhere to be found. I read my Jesus Calling for that day, and in it, Jesus challenged me to see small adversities as opportunities. "Great," I'm thinking. "Really, Jesus?! I just found my phone. And you want me to look at my lost keys as an opportunity rather than an inconvenience and possible waste of money. Yeah right. See you tomorrow." When things like this happen to me, I typically let the stress overwhelm me. But this time, things were different... and it wasn't my doing. Hang with me, I promise I'm getting to the point of this saga. As I drove all around Edmond in search of my keys, I found that rather than feeling heightened disappointment at each stop where the successive barista/server/workers said, "No... we haven't found any keys," I found myself feeling lighter and lighter. Joyful and more joyful. I heard Jesus saying, "Hallie, they are just keys. If you can't find them, I will take care of you." How comforting. This earthly life is not about keys, praise the Lord! And so I found peace. My first taste of true peace in the face of adversity. (I'm terribly sorry if this offends you because you are dealing with much greater adversity than lost keys... I know it seems trivial). 

End of story, I found my keys. Once my phone was up and working, I got a text saying the lovely Kayleigh Mayhall had my keys--I had left them in the cafeteria and she picked them up for me. :)