Sunday, December 18, 2005

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Couple of things:
1) Kevin's piece will be aired on NPR (that's 90.1 FM) at 7:51AM (that's the MORNING) on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings!!! Let's all turn out to hear him (some of you will be sleeping in because you have already finished finals, and I don't want to hear about that...). Yay Kevin!!! We're so proud of you!!

2) I saw this on facebook and had to post it-- it's hilarious:

T’was the week before finals,
And all through the college,
The students were praying
For last minute knowledge.

Most were quite sleepy,
But none touched their beds,
While visions of essays
Danced in their heads.

Out in the taverns,
A few were still drinking,
And hoping that liquor
Would loosen up their thinking.

In my own room,
I had been pacing,
And dreading exams
I soon would be facing.

My roommate was speechless,
Her nose in her books,
And my comments to her
drew unfriendly looks.

I drained all the coffee,
And brewed a new pot,
No longer caring
that my nerves were shot.

I stared at my notes,
But my thoughts were muddy,
My eyes went ablur,
I just couldn't study.

"Some pizza might help,"
I said with a shiver,
But each place I called
Refused to deliver.

I'd nearly concluded
That life was too cruel,
With futures depending
On grades had in school.

When all of a sudden,
our door opened wide,
And Patron Saint Put It Off
Ambled inside.

His spirit was careless,
His manner was mellow,
All of a sudden,
He started to bellow.

"On Cliff notes, on Crib Notes
On last year Exams.
On Wingit and Slingit
And Last Minute Crams."

His message delivered
he vanished from sight.
But we heard him laughing
Outside in the night.

Your professors have pegged you-
So just do your best.
Happy Finals to All,
And to all a Good Test.

Good luck on finals!!!ha ha!!!

AND:PRAYER FOR FINAL EXAMS
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not flunk; He keepeth me from lying down when I should be studying. He leadeth me beside the water cooler for a study break. He restoreth my faith in study guides. He leads me to better study habits For my grade's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of borderline grades, I will not have a nervous breakdown For Thou art with me. My prayers and my friends, they comfort me. Thou givest me answers in moments of blankness; Thou anointest my head with understanding. My test paper runneth over with questions I recognize. Surely passing grades and flying colors shall follow me. All the days of my examination, And I shall not have to dwell in this university forever, AMEN!!!!!

I know you guys are done, but IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN!!!
back to the books...
sam

Saturday, December 10, 2005

what do you want?

What is it that we want? Today, I want to impress my professor with my brilliance so that he will not notice that I positively stink in science, but I'm a nice girl and my uncommon genius is simply restricted to all things non-science, math and spanish related. :) I want to produce a piece of work in my senior studio that will cause my professor to crumble to the ground in an emotional heap and cry out to whatever God is responsible for my artistic gift to please strike her blind so that she will never have to see another thing in existence to mar the perfection of the pieces I have presented for next week's critique and that it will be the last and only image burned on her heart.

But I digress. Are those really the things I want? Well, yes. Sort of. I do find myself staring into space, thinking about how I want to do something in the printshop, wanting it to be perfect, or at least what I see in my head. I do want to make really good grades and make my husband and parents and brother and friends proud. No pressure. I do want to be understood as smart and nice and talented and well-meaning.

And that's it sometimes, isn't it? We want to be understood for the truest, best part of who we are-- that intention that didn't come across quite as clearly as you meant it to. That point you were making that wasn't aimed for the heart of your listener, but registered there as a wound anyway. We want to be understood that we aren't as callous as we seem, jealous as we seem, fearful as we seem. We want to be seen.

It's all there in the Word. The Lord tells us that only He truly knows the heart of a man--- he sees the smallest speck of all of our truest intentions, which truth be told are often a mess of alternately generous and selfish intentions, and loves us loves us loves us.

Have you ever walked away from a conversation and winced because of what you just said? I have. O holy night, I have. Just this week, at least three times I said aloud as I walked away, "Why Lord? Why did I say that? Please fix anything I just did." I was tired or in a hurry or frustrated. Today, I had a conversation about the veracity of the Bible with two good friends who are also believers. After the conversation I just had to come before the Lord again with the same old prayer: please help me to stop sounding like I think I know everything Jesus. I know I don't know it all, am soundly convinced, but somehow I don't think I communicate that with my tone of voice...." How icky to sound pompous on the one sure bet in the world: No one understands the maintained integrity of the bible. NO ONE. Name four million people and we can agree that those four million do not have it. Only Jesus does.

All this to say, after the conversation was over and they were both gone, I wondered what it was that was stealing my peace so-- it wasn't the two friends. It wasn't the conversation. It was my deep need to be understood and the feeling that I wasn't just then and there was nothing I could do to make it happen right then. But the Lord saw my heart...

But the Lord...these are such comforting words. So often, it's like the whole "Santa is watching!!" we tell little kids to make them behave. "God is watching!" we put on a billboard to warn sinners (the other ones besides ourselves), when instead of threatening or warning, it should be so comforting. "Oh, thank goodness-- the one who really knows what I meant to say is watching...as long as He knows..."

going to sleep now--
i love you guys--
i love Him...
sam

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

hm...

I've been thinking. What are we doing? I'm mulling it over and over in my mind and heart, and yesterday I just had to sit and think for a minute, all alone in the auditorium here at school, about what we know and how we know it and what we should be paying most attention to, and I realized that I am up to my eyeballs in what certain people say or don't say, but I must must must get to what Jesus says. To be like He is and to cry out to Him for wisdom to see the way He sees. You guys, this is a good prayer. To pray that He would cause us to look at things the way He sees them.

But there's a price for this prayer, and we should be forewarned: Jesus was so moved with compassion, so saw people for who they really were and who they could become, and so saw the destiny of the Father on their lives, that He laid His very life down so they could be saved. His very life. How can we do less?

Because He wasn't just willing to lay His life down because He loved us, but primarily, because He loved His Father. He didn't choose to obey because of His love and affection for mankind, but for passion for His Father and His will. If we begin to fall in love that same way, begin to walk in faith that same way, we will say yes to laying down our lives for those whose worth and likeableness we do not instantly see, because we also aren't doing it for them but for Abba-- to be like Jesus, we know we must be consumed with love for the Father.

If we see with His eyes, and if we ask for His heart, we will be moved to do as He did, to love as He loved. If we will submit to Him, His wisdom. Without prejudice, without exception, we will begin to love as He loves, to live as He lives... only then will we be free and wise, and we will be captive-- but bondservants, people who choose to handcuff ourselves to our Savior, who have tasted His sweetness and acknowledge that we have nowhere else to go but to Him and with Him and it will radically re-order all we do....

This is the direction I have to head in. To take my flesh and tell it to shut up and obey, and to take my heart and tilt it the way it wants to go anyway-- Jesus-ward, because He's the only one with the words of eternal life...

I'm thinking. And if His Life takes deeper and deeper residence within me (us, the body of Christ), how can the world resist Him? They are not converting to my political party, church or club. But simply falling in love with the One whose heart aches for theirs. And that's it. And that's everything.

love you--
sam

Friday, October 7, 2005

Gallery Talks

Did you ever wonder why cucumbers are cool? Me neither, until my 100-level Biology professor assigned that to our class as a research project. Now, just so you know, this will be the only site which google will find when you type in "why cucumbers are cool". Well, I'm actually wrong about that. There's some other article out there, but it's a religious thing. OH-- so is this. Looks like the church is the ONLY place interested in why cucumbers are cool!!

So why am I writing this instead of studying? Instead of working on my ever-expanding, universe-imitating Senior Seminar? Instead of pulling together a paper for another class? It's all about perspective, people. My brain is about to shrivel up and fall out of my ears (hydration, mucous membranes, diffusion...), so I need to take a second and reflect on the fact that my Father created cucumbers and sloths and the planets. No, not Tom Hudgens. He's a great guy-- Dad of Dads, but he doesn't hold the expanse of the universe in his hands. No man does. For me, that takes the pressure off a bit.

This is mid-term time, and I want everyone to pick something awesome-- cucumber, some crazy planet, an author you might read for FUN (what?), the pure existence of something so sweet and wonderful as coffee, a cute guy/girl, my husband :)-- and "Selah"-- pause and think about that. Let's get out of ourselves just for a second and consider how fortunate we are, how the Lord has done so many amazing things for us. Look what He's done for us. Hard things happen, but we don't have to earn a lifetime lived with Him. The greatest artist of all time brags on us as His dearest creations.

Last night, we had a gallery opening-- everyone was nervous. Even me, a little, though I didn't admit it to the others in my class-- it's always good to have at least one person on the boat who isn't petrified, so I'll volunteer. ACTING like I'm not nervous usually makes it a reality for me. Anyway, the artist I had to present to a gallery full of people (FULL-- it was a great turn-out)is this amazing woman named Julia Fenton-- major pioneer in the art world, in the nation, and particularly southeast. Her work is a bit controversial, or a little hard to digest until you understand what she's doing and why she's doing it. Then it's clear. I felt like such a grown up when I got it. Anyway, I stood before her work and had just prayed that she would feel honored by what I said. I saw her face smiling at me in the crowd, and I sensed that she approved of what was said. Then my talk was over and we moved on to the next-- she came to me and told me she loved it. Here's why I'm writing this--

All day long, we stand before the creation of the greatest artist of all time-- our own Maker, our own Great Parent, our Father-- and present His work to the masses. Do we think, really consider what we will say about it? Our classmates, our families, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc.? Are we as interested that the Artist we are "speaking for" agrees with what we say about what He has done? Do we research the information He has given us about Himself so that we are accurate in our presenation of who He is and what He has done? Are we hoping that He will walk over to us after we have presented on Him and His work and say, "Well done. I loved what you said"?

After the talk, a young woman came over to where Julia and I stood, and she asked a question about the artist's work. Julia looked at me, smiled her lovely smile, and said, "Here, you explain it to her" and squeezed my hand.

This is the Great Commission.
i love you guys--
sam