some things that have been on my mind as of late:
– grad school and a busy social life do not always mix well together. I have had awesome opportunities lately to hang out with friends and be involved in different activities and ministries. It has been awesome but has also led to me not being as far along with my classes as I would like to be.
– our vegetable garden is done expect for the green peppers that are in a late September marathon. will we plant things over the winter? can we? can we afford to do it in terms of money and time? I still have a lot to learn about farming and gardening.
– domestic violence. I just don’t know enough about it and how to talk with battered women.
– meth. I hear that it is the drug of choice for poor, white populations. I am wondering if this is the drug of choice in Shady Hill. It would explain a lot for me and is yet another thing I still need to learn more about.
– the circle that poverty, domestic violence, and drugs seem to weave. More research is needed on my part. So many things to look up. I believe though that the church has to educate themselves on these issues if we hope to do effective work among those God calls us to.
– where will Phillip and I be living next year at this time?
– will I be working? Hopefully? so where?
– the unfounded idea that in America we are all born on an equal playing field and just need to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps. nothing could be farther from the truth. anyone who believes this should dedicate their time to being around the poor. try to understand some of their lives. Satan, our politicians, and sadly enough some of our religious leaders have sold us this myth. perhaps it has to do with the Cain that exists in all our hearts declaring that we are not our brothers keeper. this attitude allows us to ignore the problem by believing the lie. it also leaves blood on our hands.
– a homeless friend of mine that I ran into last week told me he has lung cancer. as we discussed his treatment he told me that at MCV, where he receives treatment, as a powerless, homeless, sick man he is required to sign releases for them to use whatever experimental drug they choose on him. as I walked away from the 7-11 I understood the old testament prophets a little more when they would cry out to God-. “LORD, WHEN WILL THIS INJUSTICE CEASE. LOOK FROM HEAVEN AN SEE THE WAY WE SUFFER. HEAR THE CRIES OF THE POOR, THE WIDOW, THE HOMELESS, THE UNINSURED”
– some of my family has been struggling. I go between trusting God and worrying. I hurt for them and wish so badly that they would allow God into their lives.
– I went to the doctor for some health problems and have been told to give up caffeine. all of it. part of me is excited to have my body in a cleaner and healthier state. part of me wants to cry when sitting in the middle of a two hour and forty minute class. and what to do with those dark chocolate covered pretzels in my kitchen?
– racism. it’s been in the news a lot lately. it has also been on my mind because Phillip, my friend Alex, and myself are running a small group at our church on race and racism. I don’t think that any of us can say we are not racist. it is a spiritual stronghold in our world. for those though that put up a convincing argument on behalf of their lack of racism I would then submit that we have serious issues with the idolatry of white culture. it is everywhere. it dominates almost every aspect of our culture. when you think about it other cultures are normally judged by how different they are because we have such a sense of white culture as the norm. other cultures cannot simply stand on their own. instead they are always studied, rebuked, or praised for how much they align with white culture. black men are looked down upon for their style of clothing unless they dress the more mainstream, white, j-crew. black women are seen as more beautiful if they make their hair more silky and not kinky. when both a white person and a minority are known for having done something similar in history (ohhh say like “discover the Americas”) the white person will usually get the credit in our history books. I could go on and on. All I know is that there is racism in my heart (the best example I can think to share, which I often use to explain to my friends, is that I have noticed that when walking in an alley I am less nervous at the approach of a white man than a black man. how screwed up is that!). I don’t like it there and I am relying on God’s grace to see me through it. I think I’ll be in recovery for the rest of my life. care to join me?
– food culture. we don’t have enough of it. Barbara Kingsolver in her book “animal, vegetable, miracle” writes about how in the feminist struggle for equality in the work place one of the trade offs we had to make was loosing much of our food culture because “fast food” was there to sweep in and help us have our jobs, swim meets, and big macs too. let me be clear that I fully support feminism in its true form that I believe can be found in the Bible. God was the orignal feminist. A woman’s place is wherever God calls her to be. I just am saddened by how our marriages filled with two working partners and sometimes a handful of kids has led to so many missed meals together. are the afterschool activities worth it? I’m not sure. can mutual submission between partners help solve it? I think it’s a good place to start…that and start growing your own food from heirloom seeds.
– fall is a wonderful thing. it gives legitimacy to me always being cold by actually getting cold outside.
– too many people have been murdered lately. we’ve all heard about the horrible things that happened in Farmville and florida. don’t forget about the homeless man less than a mile down the street.
– I’m really glad we are all allowed to own guns. (sadness with a smaller dose of sarcasm implied)
– I cannot imagine living with my family in a place where there are weekly gun battles. this is the reality of so many of our neighbors though. both here in Richmond and Chesterfield. ohhh the psychological and developmental damage that is being done to those children.
– I can’t get enough of dogs. ever since Marley and Me this past spring I have been reminded of how awesome dogs are. I’m very glad God created them. I think they were very special to God and Adam…why else would dog be god spelled backwards?
– my friend Hannah’s baby shower is coming up this weekend. I’m pretty excited about it and moreso the baby in general.
– my friend Mary is getting married soon and I’m really excited for her and her fiance.
– the Giants won last night. I would have never cared except that I married Phillip. So I am now excited about their win. I have also come to see the Raven’s as the worst football team ever. They are always to be beaten. This is the way the Brocks tell me it has to be. For the rest of my life I will read books during football games, occasionally get sucked in, eventually fall asleep on Jack’s couch, and then wake up asking whether the Giants won and expressing my hopes that the Ravens lost. marriage.
good night friends. I hope you have a great night filled with peace and love from God and those around you.