Thursday, January 24, 2008

what i'll be doing at 4am

As a small window into my life, I thought I'd let you know that I'll be staying up all night tonight. This was not my idea. At Michigan, there is an event called the 40 Days of Prayer that has been happening annually. There is a prayer room on campus open 24 hours a day for 40 days, and anyone from any organization or church can use it to pray. I hear it's pretty cool in there, though I haven't visited. In general, this sort of thing makes me wonder: "Where am I? Cause I'm pretty sure I'm at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor...but maybe not."

There was an opening ceremonies of sorts, during which one of the organizers challenged us to spend one whole night in prayer. I kind of chuckled to myself. You know how these college kids can be--so passionate and energetic. Hope they have a good time.

So then Katie, this girl in my small group whom I pretty much adore and who has a lovely unique way of influencing people just by being herself--she comes up with this idea that maybe our whole small group could do an all-nighter. I guess I should have seen this coming.

So tonight, I think of myself in solidarity with people like Linn and Glenn and all you missionaries out there who have to go to wakes and all-night evangelistic events. You're brave souls. I'm really hoping I'll survive this, in honor of you.

Last time I stayed up all night to "pray," I was in high school, and I made a pretty impulsive decision around 4AM. It was a weird experience. This is a step of faith for me, that it'll be different.

Now I'm off to take a nap.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

maybe in 2008 i'll write about these things

I know I've said this before, but I would like to post more often and get in the habit of writing about what is going on with my work. There are a few things that I'm feeling pretty excited about, so I'm hoping to tell you about them in the next few months.

As a preview:
--I actually started counseling on Wednesday. I have had this sense that God is using this time in my life to give me emotional health and stability. Lately it is very clear that my emotional volatility holds me back from a lot of things, particularly in ministry. The woman I met with asked me questions about my family tree and the timeline of my life, and we unexpectedly focused a little bit on high school, a period of time I haven't thought much about lately. It was kind of strange to go back and think about how some of those events still effect me now.
--I've been mulling over the concept of "women's leadership development" and how we as women are typically motivated to serve in the church. I don't think I'm coming up with any original ideas when I throw out that we're ridiculously different from men. At the risk of generalizing things too much, I'm developing some theories in my own mind about a woman's need for security in ministry versus a man's need for significance. A man might ask, "Do I have what it takes to succeed in this role?" A woman might ask, "Who will go with me?" Bottom line: women need something very different, and I'd like to that difference to become more acknowledged in the fabric of our church. Not sure what that means, but I sure do sound like Elisabeth Elliott right now. Heh.
--We're leading a trip to downtown Detroit for spring break, and I am feeling like Detroit might just be the only place I'd want to spend a week right about now. I have no idea why, but I'm drawn in and excited.

In the meantime, I'm sick as a dog. I seriously haven't been this sick since I was a kid. It started a week ago with a sore throat that lasted for five days, and yesterday, the sore throat seemed to creep up the right side of my neck and then settle in my ear. Unfortunately, I was the CORE retreat by then, so I took some Nyquil last night and hoped for sleep. Before I could settle in, though, I started in with this dry cough that I still have today. No more aching ear, but everything seems to be clogged up, and still, the perpetual sore throat. I've been in and out of work for the last week, without a real sick day that goes from waking up to going to bed. Maybe I should do that tomorrow.

Monday, January 14, 2008

cursed are the ones who can't abide

I'm still swimming in revelations.

This song got me through several very nasty nights in November, and I kept wanting to post it. Strangely, I've never considered Shane & Shane a favorite band, but the last song that moved me this much was by them. (This version was the best I could find on YouTube, despite a bit from John Piper during the long postlude.)

Embracing Accusation

The father of lies
coming to steal, kill and destroy
all my hopes of being good enough.
I hear him say, "Cursed are the ones who can't abide."
He's right. Hallelujah. He's right.
The devil is preaching
the song of redeemed,
that I am cursed and gone astray.
I cannot gain salvation.
Embracing accusation.
Could the father of lies
be telling the truth
of God to me tonight?
If the penalty of sin is death
then death is mine.
I hear him say, "Cursed are the ones who can't abide."
He's right. Hallelujah. He's right.
The devil is preaching
the song of the redeemed,
that I am cursed and gone astray.
I cannot gain salvation.
Oh the devil's singing over me
an age-old song
that I am cursed and gone astray.
Singing the first verse so conveniently over me.
He's forgotten the refrain:
Jesus saves.

I've been meaning to say thank you to the anonymous commenter from my last post. Your note was an encouragement and a surprise to Kevin and me. I've been wondering if I ever met you, because I came to Ann Arbor in 2001.