Monday, October 24, 2011

The North Carolina State Fair... even more undignified

This will probably be a shocker to most of you, because it is to almost everyone I meet.  But last week was the first time I had ever been to the State Fair.  Yes, I've been here 18 years and had never been to the North Carolina State Fair until last Thursday.  And to be honest, it doesn't seem like I was missing out on too much.

I went with a great group of people, my Bible study, on Thursday so it was a lot of fun.  Then on Friday I went again with some friends from school and that was great.  But looking at the fair objectively, it's just a money trap.  Everything is way over-priced and all (well, almost all) of the food was covered in grease or fried.

Don't get me wrong.  Being from North Carolina I feel like it was an experience that I should have, and going with the right people can make it amazing.  I just wasn't blown away.

So now for the second part of this title, "even more undignified".

I went to church with my friend Delise on Sunday and the word undignified was in one of the songs.  It wasn't even the main point of the song, but that word was just stuck in my head.  Soon to follow this song by the David Crowder Band (see below) started playing, or rather, the chorus did.  Over and over, I couldn't get it out of my head, and I didn't really want to.  It just reminded me that being loved by our amazing God is something to revel in, it's something to put out there, throwing pride and concern for self-image out the window in rejoicing in Him.  King David danced in the streets for goodness sake! (2 Samuel 6:14-16)  If the king of the Israelite people was willing to make a fool of himself in the streets (a fool in people's eyes, not in the eyes of the Lord) then why are we so afraid to let loose and praise Him with all of our might?

I hope you'll listen to this song, and maybe even as you do dance and jump around where ever you happen to be.  Because God more than deserves our whole hearted praise.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Stick Shift

As a teenager in the United States, I have not really had the chance to learn how to drive a manual transmission car.  That being said it is something that I would really like to do.  There is just something appealing about having to know more about the engine and the way the car runs than the nothing that we are required to know now.

Last Friday I went to volunteer at an after school center, and the guy that I rode with had a stick shift.  I thought it was so cool.  Having to recognize when your car is ready to go to the next gear seems to me like it would take a special skill.  Maybe this is just me romanticizing the idea of being able to drive with a manual transmission, but I still think that it's awesome.

Now that I think about it, I don't really even have a chance to drive a car with an automatic transmission too often.  Since I went to boarding school when I was 16, a school where we couldn't have cars, I only get to drive the little time that I am home.  Elizabeth and I were talking about this the other day and she was saying that basically even though I'm 18 I've really only been driving for like a year and a half.

How sad is that?

Anyway, I would love to hear about some old "learning to drive" stories.

Til Next Time,


Monday, October 17, 2011

Marching Band

This weekend I had a (most likely) once in a life time experience.  I went to a marching band competition.  My little sister Elizabeth plays clarinet in the marching band at her high school and I got to go to one of her competitions this weekend!

As geeky as that sounds it was actually pretty cool.  The bands spend all this time and effort working on their show.  They spend a week in the summer, if not more, learning music, teaching the freshmen to march, and starting on marching patterns.  Forgive me for my ignorance of the proper terms.

There were some really cool shows, I wish I had taken some pictures, but I didn't think about it at the time.  One show was based on the Wizard of Oz and the color guard was dressed up as the characters: Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Evil Witch of the West, and more.  It was very elaborate and quite a show.  The best one though was themed "Vegas".  Some of the color guard "changed" costumes up to three times.  At the end, three of the girls were dressed in full white with a feather headdress and clear heels that were unimaginably high.  There were lights involved and streamers shot out into the air at the end, mimicking fireworks.

That was a very good show, but one of my other favorites was the Asheboro marching band, who performed but wasn't actually competing.  One of their songs was the Safety Dance!  That just about made my night.  That and the fact that I got a funnel cake without having to go to the State Fair.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Soccer Adventure of Fall Break 2011

Fall break 2011, I'm sure you're expecting some crazy story about an awesome road trip right?  Wrong.  Nothing so exciting for this girl.  My fall break mostly consisted of some chill time with my sisters.

Friday that meant that we went to Di'lishi (an awesome froyo place in town) and Tokyo Express, went by the Goodwill and found a couple movies then went home to chill.  But in the end, Friday wasn't even that exciting.  Elizabeth and Shelby (my sisters) had a soccer tournament this weekend.  Elizabeth, 15, was a ref, and Shelby, 11, was playing, so they went to bed around 9.  Yes, that is nine o'clock pm.

Saturday we went to Winston Salem for the touney, and spent all day there.  I'm not going to lie, I love soccer, so it wasn't that bad.  I've even been a ref before, so I know how it feels when the crazy parents who don't know what they are screaming about start yelling at you for the mistakes their kids make.  You learn to ignore it.  There was one particular family sitting next to my Mom and I at one of Shelby's games, none of them had any idea what they were looking at.  It's so annoying, like, seriously it's not that hard to look up the rules to the game online and figure it out.

Sorry for any of you not interested in soccer, but that is what this post is mainly about.  I really love the game, but I don't follow any team.  So, I decided this weekend that I am going to follow Man U. and DC United.  If anyone has any other recommendations, or wants to comment on my choices feel free.

So moving on from the soccer discussion, I am looking for a Halloween costume.  And by that I don't mean a slutty costume that reveals more than it conceals.  What I'm looking for is a person that I can be, not an animal, not a random thing, but a person, possibly a figure from literature or a movie.  Someone with depth.  While I was at Goodwill with my sisters this past weekend I was so close!  I found a cool old dress, but the fit wasn't quite right.  It was a color blocked dress with areas of white, light green, and light blue.  That was so disappointing.   Even though the trip to look for a costume was a fail, the trip in itself ended up being very successful.  I found a karaoke Disney CD, an unabridged version of four Charles Dickens' classics!  I also found a book called "Soul Cravings" by Erwin Raphael McManus.  Now I have never heard of either the book or the author so I am kind of skeptical of it, considering that there are a lot of people out there writing about their skewed views of Christ and His teachings.  But, I'm planning to read this, at least to try and learn something, to grow in my walk with Him.

I haven't read very much so far, but from what I have read, this is a quote, and it is a very good one,  "Bitterness is the enemy of love because it makes you unforgiving and unwilling to give love unconditionally."  How awesome is that?  That right there tells me that it is possible for us to love unconditionally.  The fact that we can love unconditionally is a gift of the Father, and one that I, as a human and a sinner, will never be able to fully understand.  But I am grateful for it.  God is love (1 John 4:8, 4:16, 4:19...), therefore following Him gives us these capabilities.  I think that if we all began to see the world as we could imagine God would, then we will start a revolution.  A song by Bekah Shae says something along these lines.  More specifically she calls us to "put our love glasses on" which I think is an awesome way of phrasing that.

Also, shameless plug coming up, please check out my twitter and tumblr accounts.  I'm trying to make this blog more of an extended, once a week kind of thing, so to get more of my thoughts please check those out (links are above).

Have a good week and God bless,


Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Big BIG God!

It's so easy to get caught up in the big picture, in looking into the future for what you think you are being called to do.  Sometimes we look so far ahead because we don't know, and aren't really listening to what God has planned for us in the situation that we are in right now.

I know that as I started school I just started to feel more and more alone, like I was alone in following Christ.  I know for a fact that that is not the case, but I was beginning to feel discouraged.  That is something that I have tried very hard not to do.  I heard once, "I'll be disappointed, but I'll never be discouraged."  That saying resonated with me when I first heard it.  It's saying that it is okay to be disappointed, that yes, the Lord doesn't always do what you expect or want, but that is no reason for you to become discouraged or to lose your faith in Him.

Diving into the word I thought would help me with this.  You know, immersing myself in His word, fighting the world around me by learning more about Him, and it did help, a little, but going it alone is not what we were meant to do.  We, as believers, were meant to join together, to radically change the world by sharing our beliefs, and that we cannot do alone.

So, you're probably wondering how the title of this post ties into the content at all, and I'm working on it.  I felt that the background was necessary for this to have the meaning I was going for.  Here it comes, this weekend I was at a beach retreat with some other young adults who are focused on God, or are trying to be, and our speaker was talking about how God can do anything, anything at all.  This is something that we often grow numb to as we grow up in the church.  We hear all of these amazing stories when we are kids, about a God that can make fire fall from the sky, about a God that kept a man inside a whale.  These stories are Sunday School classics.  So what happened?  How did the God that filled us with awe as children become this character that was confined to the limits of our minds?  That was a question that was presented to us.

I honestly don't have a good answer to that question.  Anything that I can think of is irrelevant when you really get down to the core of the problem.  When did God become the tame figure that most of us view Him as today?  Because truly, God is bigger than that.  He is bigger than anything that we can imagine.

        "Who has measured the oceans in the palm of his hand?  Who has used his hand to measure the 
        sky?  Who has used a bowl to measure all the dust of the earth and scales to weigh the mountains
        and hills?...  God sits on His throne above the circle of the earth, and compared to Him, people 
        are like grasshoppers.  He stretches out the the skies like a piece of cloth and spreads them out 
        like a tent to sit under."
                             - Isaiah 40:12,22

When our God is this great, how can we ever let that become mundane?  I know I have before, and I hope that I never do again.  He is beyond my wildest dreams, and He is willing to use me to things that I couldn't even imagine to do His will.  All I have to do is ask.

God Bless,