Archive for the ‘God’ Category


why I came to the fellowship

March 9, 2011

In an attempt to clean out my very scattered/crowded draft folder, I am  publishing/deleting some of these posts. This was written in January 2008 and is most likely based on the paper I wrote for the fellowship on the event of becoming a practicing member.  I think this paper does a pretty decent job of capturing why I made that decision and the two years I spent as a practicing member were very good ones for me.  While I no longer have any official connection to the fellowship, I continue to live in household and attend the small group that I joined back when I first wrote this post.

I grew up in a strong Mennonite faith community.  Everyone I knew was a Christian and believed in God.  I grew up attending the same church my grandparents had attended and memorized Bible verses every week in Sunday School.  Both of my parents grew up Mennonite and continued to hold their faith in high importance.  All around me were good people doing their best to serve God in their lives.  However this faith community didn’t do a lot of talking about how they believed in God or how they heard God’s voice or why faith mattered.

For much of high school I struggled a lot with doubts, mainly about the existence of God and the role of the church.  I read a lot from the Old Testament and was confused by the ideas of a God who sent bears to punish naughty children or who forcefully advocated for total destruction of enemies.  I couldn’t understand how the church who claimed to be the physical embodiment of God’s will and agency on earth could commit such atrocities and inspire such vilification and hatred among different people.  I didn’t understand why each religion seemed to want to limit God to only their understanding of him or insist that only their religion was true.  While I knew that God was a large part of the community around me that I loved, I didn’t seem to share the same ability to just have faith in God.

Towards the end of high school I participated in a baptism class through my church in Indiana.  We met regularly over a period of several months and talked a lot about issues of pluralism, the history of the church, the meaning of baptism and what it meant to choose Christianity.  I learned that my doubts were not barriers to being a Christian, but ways of keeping my faith alive and that I didn’t have to have a perfect all the time faith in God in order to choose to be a follower of Jesus.  Later that year, I along with several other of my friends got baptized during the Advent season right after 9/11.  That season and baptism was a huge influence on me and remains a powerful reminder to me about the ability of faith to help one live in a very broken world.

As I finished up my degree at GC, my friends and I began to try to figure out what we were going to do next.  A good friend Jess began to talk about moving back to her home town of Evanston and how it would be fun for a group of us to join her.  The idea took root and soon four of us decided to move up to Evanston.  We ended up going through R— Apartments in order to find a low cost place to live and quickly realized we were living in the middle of close-knit community.  However we also realized that it wasn’t the easiest thing to get to know people within that community.  Our first year here was difficult, especially as we could see the community around us, but yet couldn’t connect directly to it.  Things did improve as we started going to Monday night potlucks and got connected to small groups.  Both my roommate Becca and I got invited into Barb’s small group and that really helped us feel more connected.  Therefore last September when the option of becoming a practicing member was given to me, I jumped at the chance.  Here was the opportunity for me to connect with this community of faith that I had been observing and so far this has proven to be a wonderful step.

Here at the fellowship I have really appreciated spending time in a community that values a quiet deep faith, encourages discussion of incorporating God into one’s daily life, allows for brokenness and doubts, and also pushes me to take seriously the idea of being intentional about my relationships with those around me.


So apparently my blog doesn’t update itself

April 9, 2010

Pity, because I have not been doing a very fine job of either.  At first my excuse was,

“Dude I am in Washington, DC and all I have is my iPod Touch, so I am not typing out two whole posts on that little itty bitty keyboard.”

Then it was,

“Dude, I just got back from my trip and I haven’t even uploaded my pictures yet.”

Then it became more like,

“Dude, I am in a really weird post-vacation funk where I want to be around exactly no one and writing on some silly blog isn’t going to make me feel better.  Here let me listen to music and play solitaire while laying on my bed and feeling like a 13-year-old again”.

Then eventually it became,

“Dude, I think I am finally in the mood to recap my trip and post all those pictures I took, but wait where did my card reader go!”

And finally it was,

“Dude, I am feeling the tiniest bit like being productive, so maybe I should work on my paper and not my silly little blog.”

So there you go, a paragraph of excuses about why I haven’t updated.  Aren’t you glad I wasted your time like that?  While I don’t think I say “Dude” that much, I did actually lose my card reader and am waiting for Amazon to ship me another and in the same category of tech-related annoyances.  My laptop battery stopped working, so now I can only use my laptop when it is plugged in, thereby reducing its helpfulness as a mobile device.  Fortunately I think it is still under warranty, so I just need to drag myself over to the Apple store and get it replaced.

In the good news category, I think I am finally pulling myself out of my little funk, mainly due to the discovery that if you actually work on a few of the things that are stressing you out, you will feel much better.  And I also just have really great friends that let me vent even if my reasons for doing so are mainly that I feel grouchy.  But because I don’t have pictures and don’t really feel like I did much of significance with my week, here are a bunch of links that I discovered this week while going through the week-long backlog that was my GoogleReader.

Make Something Cool Every Day

Brock Davis set out to make one creative thing every day in 2009, what he came up with is pretty darn awesome.  The site takes a really long time to load cause it is over 300 photos, but the wait is worth it. via kottke (as always)

Le Petit Prince Bakery

I love pretty much anything that Jim from Sweet Juniper writes, but his series that profiles local businesses in the Detroit area is some of his best work.

But the Didierjeans also make it easy to appreciate the family nature of their business. Yvette is always there to greet her customers with a warm smile and some words in French. It was hard to pull Marcel away from his work for this photo, but after his sons pestered him a bit he finally came out in his baker’s clothing. In the hope of keeping this treasure open for future generations of metro Detroiters, I know I am not alone in selfishly hoping his passion for this grueling work does not soon wane, at least not until after one of those young men is ready to follow him.

Go read the full article


Internet comics for the people who love math and also great for those that don’t, but mainly good for folks who love graphs.

Not Martha is the the new Martha Stewart

The time and care this takes (those are real egg shells coated with two layers of chocolate and stuffed with candy) blows my mind, but is oddly tempting.

Inner Dialogue at a Quaker Meeting

Counting the boards in the wall. There’s 178 boards on the lower part of the wall. I haven’t counted the ceiling boards yet. One, two, three…

Must you? Is it too much to ask that you just sit quietly for a few minutes and think about life and God and, you know, spiritual stuff?

I’m trying, but that baby is making noise. Do the Quakers allow babies in their…silent meetings or whatever they call these things? Because that baby’s not being very quiet.

Well obviously they do allow babies, because that baby is here.

Real Live Preacher never fails to inspire/make me laugh. If you aren’t reading him you are missing out.

Talking to Kids about Death. Sort of an Easter Story

Raul Andres: Will everyone die? Everyone?

Me: Someday.


Gabriel: Then who will live in the world?

Me: Well, all the babies who are being born today. They’ll grow up and have new babies.

One of the reasons I want to have children is to have conversations like this.

and finally

Go Jump on a Bed


the globalization of the local

November 23, 2009

Yesterday while driving home from class I heard a story on NPR all about polar bears, who are apparently quite doomed.  The expert was talking about how the melting of the ice caps was unrepairable at this point and that it was only a matter of time before all the polar bears starved to death.  Kind of a depressing thought, you have to admit, but what it really made me think about is how I am, in my Midwestern little cocoon, upset by this idea.  How much time do I spend thinking about polar bears on a daily basis?  Not a lot.  How much does it actually effect me, who has never seen a polar bear and am unlikely to do so, if polar bears cease to exist?  Not a lot.*  But because I was sitting in my car, listening to NPR, I know about this and it makes me sad.

It is pretty easy to go on and on about the ways that the globalization of information is radically changed our perception of the world over the past 100 or even 50 years ago.  For instance, this weekend I spent around 6 hours researching a very old book.  I found journal articles, read biographies, examined old maps, all through the wireless connection of my laptop.  In other words I did research that would have required numerous letters, trips to libraries, and possibly even travel to do only 100 years ago.  But in the end, it was the part of the research where I held the book in my hand and looked at its strange, but very cool, illustrations that really connected me to story of one book and the many hands that helped produce it.

Friday night I had rather bizarre experience when I ended up entertaining both a young homeless woman with mental issues and a volunteer recruiting for ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).  The young woman, Mary, is a known person to the neighborhood.  She used to come around more frequently, but this is only the second time I have interacted with her since moving into Cana.  There is something about sitting there drinking tea with a young woman who spends nights on the streets and a man explaining the difficult work of helping animals after natural disasters and bringing down dog-fighting rings to make one think a little more seriously about issues.  Normally would I think to offer tea to the homeless or sign up to give money to help pet animals? Probably not, but when someone comes to your home, or to the radio in your car, it makes those big national/global issues seem more important to my tiny little life.

*It should be noted that I understand the huge issue of global warming and how that will indeed effect me, but this one small part of it probably really won’t effect me at all.


the serialized history of a church

May 14, 2009

I am pretty sure I have talked before about Real Live Preacher (Gorden Atkinson), I know I made Becca and Jess listen to me read aloud out of his book before.  And I have probably mentioned how much I enjoy his thoughts on faith, church, writing, depression, etc.  Anyways recently he has been writing a series of essays describing the history of his current church.  Starting back when they met in a country club bar, through the difficulties of losing their original preacher, and the many interesting people who have joined with the church. Here are some excerpts from his series so far.  After you read them, go here to start from the beginning.

From Story #1:

Covenant Baptist Church has been something of an experiment, because we didn’t have any role models. From the beginning we decided that we would do things that seem right to us and waste no energy doing things that didn’t seem important. As it turned out, most of the things that standard churches do didn’t seem important to us.

From Story #6:

So you see, things get done here. But they are slow things. They are things with natural patinas that can only grow with time. Things are settled into the ground and beautiful. These things exist because we’ve chosen to live our lives slowly and deliberately in this community. We’re living on Spirit time, not clock time.

From Story #8:

One Sunday there were only 13 people in attendance at the Duckblind Lounge. I preached and led music that Sunday, awkwardly moving my arms up and down to the beat of the hymns as I had seen music ministers do. We had no piano player that Sunday either, so it was just 13 shaky voices that seemed to get lost in the emptiness of the room. That was definitely a low point for me.

But sometimes there is a moment of grace in hard times.

That graceful moment came when I came around a corner and saw Reiley with Ben Chappell, one of the kindest and most committed Christians I have ever known. Having only Reiley in his Sunday School class, Ben was sitting next to her on a bench. His weathered Bible was open and laid across their laps. He was reading to her from the scriptures and talking with her about what they read there. Their heads were inclined toward each other and they seemed lost in their own world.

That’s when I saw the truth. There wasn’t a child in any church in the world who was having a better experience than my child on that Sunday morning. She had a one-on-one lesson with Ben that day. Just the two of them. Ben, who loved the Bible and loved questions about the Bible. Ben, who was gentle and smart and who would listen to her doubts and questions with care and understanding. Ben, who would celebrate her earliest steps of faith. I quietly backed away and left the two of them alone.

Okay, I should probably stop quoting someone else’s words, but hopefully this is enough to make you go check the rest of the series out.  If you do let me know what you think.


the sun I didn’t sit in and how my weekend went

March 17, 2009

Today was absolutely spectacular weather, or at least it looked like it through the windows of the library.  I shouldn’t be too whiny about my lack of outside activity today I did get a nice 20 minutes at lunch, a short walk to and from the ministry center.  But I would have loved for today to be one of those days in which I could have walked to the lake or read a book on the front porch.  Especially because tomorrow looks to bring back the 40s and 50s more appropriate for mid-March Chicago.

This past weekend was a bit of a dreary one, mainly due to my own brilliant idea to postpone finishing my assignment during the week, because gosh darn it spring break means not doing homework!  Obviously this translated into doing homework all weekend.  Fortunately I did get to do a few fun things including, but not limited too: a crazy full too bursting early St. Patty’s dinner with the girls (plus Josh) at Celtic Knot, church workday that including wiping dusty books, pulling up carpet and sealing a sandblasted brick wall.  Oh and Saturday night, Tim and Charletta caome over for dinner and we played a round of Evo, a quirky game in which you attempt to evolve your dinosaurs faster and better than your opponents, only to have everyone wiped out by the game-ending meteor.

I think the other highlights of the weekend would be watching two rather solidly done movies, Happy-Go-Lucky and Milk.  The first tells a story of a stubornly happy and very quirky British woman, who seems somewhat oblivious to the rareness of her joy.  If you like British humor, internal story lines and films set in London I highly recommend Sally Hawkins as Poppy.  The second tells the powerful story of gay-rights activist, Harvey Milk, who became the first openly gay man elected to major public office in the US.  This movie worked really well, portraying an incredible person and the troubling reality that may homosexuals endured during the 1970s, while not sugar-coating either the humanity of Milk or the solution to our nations’ problems with equality.  In the end it wasn’t the ending of this movie that I found hard to watch, but the venomous lies spewed throughout the film from so called “Christian” leaders.  Leaders who used their mis-interpreted Biblical teachings, to encourage bigotry and propose the unfair laws focused on in the film.  Especially in the wake of the recent passing of Proposition 8, I find the way Christian churches, of a variety of denominations, played vital roles in the success of that bill, so endlessly sad and frustrating.  The Christian church, who should be on the forefront of defending equality, seems to so often come down on the side of supporting and enforcing the status quo.  It is this part of the church that I find so hard to reconcile with my personal experience of church as a place of welcome, love and service.  That all said 🙂 I would recomend the movie Milk to those of you who have a pulse, care about issues of equality and enjoy well-done movies.


reflections on a funeral week

November 30, 2008

Since my last update I have traveled to PA, seen my grandma for the last time, heard the news of her early morning death, spent many quality hours with cousins, aunts, uncles and cousin babies, attended a 4 1/2 hour visitation, sang in a grandchild choir at my grandma’s funeral, been one of the granddaughter pallbearers and shed a whole lot of tears.


The longer story of all that starts with my brothers, Charletta, my dad and I all driving into PA.

5 people, 4 laptops

This picture doesn't even include Tim and his laptop in the passenger seat. Also two laptops were equipped with air cards so we could surf the internet as we drove along. Yes my family is one big nerd herd!

We got a little bit of a later start due to the need to pick up a rather large thanksgiving turkey to defrost in the fridge during the week, but made pretty good time to Lancaster where we went straight to Landis Homes.  During the drive, there had been some discussion between my brothers and I about whither or not we wanted to see Grandma again in her state of severe decline.  In some ways I was really unsure of seeing her so frail, unresponsive and close to death.  The memories I wanted to keep with me of Grandma were the ones where she was strong, busy, and always moving, not so small and lost in a hospital bed.  But Tim had decided that he wanted to see her, and I decided not to risk regretting missing my last chance to see Grandma alive.  So we went into the room that she had been in for the last year.  And while it was indeed very difficult to see her in that state, she was still my Grandma and for that reason I am very glad to have seen her.  We each said our goodbyes to her, told her we loved her and then sang (or in my case tried to sing) Great is Thy Faithfulness.  Apparently that hymn had been a favorite of the siblings in the past week and one often sung to Grandma in her last days.

That evening there was a lot of discussion about the variety of possibilities and plans depending on if Grandma hung on for a few more days or even another week.  Stories of relatives lasting for weeks after they stopped eating and drinking kept floating around and there was a lot of doubt in my family’s mind that we would be able to stay long enough to actually attend Grandma’s funeral.  I went to bed with a pretty heavy heart, it is a very odd thing to pray for the death of one’s grandparent, but I was definitely doing that that night.


In the morning I woke up to the news from my Mom that my Grandma had finally passed away in the early morning between 5 and 6am.  While very welcome news, it was also bittersweet and definitely the end of an era.  For church that morning we went with my Grammy (dad’s mom) to the church at Landis Homes, where my brothers, Charletta, and I were the youngest in attendance by far.  It was rather amusing because the sermon was about maintaining faith in God as one grows older.  But as the pastor pointed out to us, we too will face the struggles of old age, but maybe in a few more years that most of the other church attenders.

Then after church we met up with my Dad’s side of the family to have lunch and play games.  One of my cousin’s from Malawi was able to be there and also another cousin from New Orleans.  We of course enjoyed typical loud conversation around the dining table and even heard a few new stories about Pappy.

Later that evening we went over to the Maust household where the Bell family also joined us, thirteen total it was a real treat to spend time with that spectrum of people.  Along with many good conversations and some amazing baked potato soup made my aunts Mary & Rachel (with assistence from half a dozen others), we also enjoyed Charletta’s Palin impression.  Then we ended up playing the Name Game, which also resulted in great hilarity especially when my Mom got so into the acting round that she literally fell on the floor in order to help us guess collapse.


Tim and Charletta headed off for a day trip to Philadelphia, while I spent the morning working on my dreaded library paper.  I got a good chunk of it done, in part due to the lack of wireless and therefore lack of internet temptations.  Then Jonathan, my parents and I headed off to Park City to do some shoe shopping.  My mom found a pair of good walking shoes and I helped my dad pick out a pair of casual shoes (he owns sketchers now, crazy!).  Then we wondered off and found Jonathan happily playing Mario Baseball on a game store’s Wii.  After lunch my parents dropped Jonathan and I off at Borders to go visit some of my great aunts and uncles.  I located a few Mary Russell mysteries that I didn’t own yet and then proceeded to camp out in the graphic novel section and read a few more volumes of the Buffy season 8 series.  That was great fun in a highly nerdy sense of the word.  Then we met up with Tim and Charletta and went to Olive Garden where we proceeded to be our obnoxious family selves.


One of the highlights of the week was chance to spend time with Emily and Laura, two of my closest cousins in age.  We couldn’t remember the last time just the three of us had had so much time to spend together.  While we had seen each other at various reunions it had been a long time that we all had been at the same one.  We started off the morning hanging out at Laura and Jed’s apartment with their always endearing daughter, Lillie.  Lillie had quite sneakily become a walking/talking almost 2 year old, even though it feels like such a short time ago she was a quiet lump sleeping in her mother’s arms at our first meeting.  After Emily arrived we went on a walk around downtown Lancaster doing various errands with Laura and eventually making our way to Central Market.  Full of memories and classical Lancaster food, I purchased some Wilbur chocolate buds, a half a dozen of whoopie pies (one of my all-time favorite desserts) and some Bubble Tape to round out my collection of nostalgia candy.


Thanks to Laura for this picture, I am definitely gonna find a frame for it!

Then Emily, Laura and I went to Isaacs for lunch and continued chatting.  It was rather strange to look at them sitting around the table with me and realize we have quite sneakily become adults.  Emily is finishing up her college degree and enjoying her waitress job (she recently waited on Jesse Jackson!), Laura is being a wonderful mother to Lillie and learning how to quilt and I am well into my third year at the high school and looking at the beginning of my grad degree.  I could have sworn it was only a few years ago we were playing together at Grandma’s house or playing viola together at family reunions.  While our trio has changed a lot over the past few years, I think you will agree we still complement each other pretty well!

Tuesday evening was the viewing, which fortunately wasn’t too exhausting because the grandchildren weren’t expected to stand in the receiving line and great the many guests.  But it was also there that we first viewed Grandma’s body.  While at first I found it rather difficult to look at her, it eventually became an almost odd thing to me because it was so clearly not Grandma.  It did bear a faint resemblance to the Grandma of my memories, the much more vital part of Grandma was spending an evening hanging out with her many and varied descendants.


A blistery November morning, we all gathered together at New Danville church for the final viewing and funeral.  The highlight for me was singing two hymns as a part of a choir of grandchildren.  One was a old classic, Children of the Heavenly Father, and the other was a newer hymn called Nothing is Lost on the Breath of God.  Both were very poignant songs to sing and it was a powerful experience to get to sing with family at such a special time.  In his tribute to his mother, my Uncle Dan said that Grandma had always dreamed of being a teacher.  But when lack of education, marriage, farm life and children prevented her from doing so, she did the next best thing and created her own school through her children.  As we sang together as grand-children, I realized that not only had Grandma created a school, she created a choir, a softball team (we play a game every summer at the family reunion), a group of world travelers and a small tribe of people of faith.

The ceremony ended with a short burial service on the windy hilltop graveyard at my childhood church.  The clouds were beautiful and the wind more than a little brisque as we sang a few more hymns and I along with the other eldest granddaughters from each family acted as pallbearers for Grandma’s casket.  That too was an important act for me, while having female pallbearers is not unheard of these days, I am guessing that this is the first one of my anscesters to have women carry their caskets and I think in some ways that would have also made Grandma quite proud.


do not go gentle into that good night

November 18, 2008

Thank you all for your lovely comments and prayers, one of my absolutely favorite things about this blog is the connections it brings to people around the world.  So thanks for reading and commenting, it is wonderful to know there are people out there thinking about my Grandma.

As of the latest update, my Grandma is still hanging on to life.  Once again she has defied expectations of how long her life should be.  Expectations were originally for her to only make it to the weekend, then news of my uncle Dan flying back from Afghanistan on Monday, led me to think she would make to till then.  This morning she is still with us, running a fever and occasionally her breathing stops, only to return again.

While plans continue to shift and change and I still don’t know what my week will look like, I think of my Grandma in that bed, in that hospital in Lancaster and there while it is clear she is coming to the end of her road, she still is staying firm and planted.  In these past few days she has been surrounded by her children, heard the announced engagement of one of her grandchildren, and received phone calls from great-grandchildren. While she doesn’t seem to be fighting this end of one life and is probably anticipating release from her physical body, she isn’t just giving in.  I think she will find her own time and her own hour to finally slip away and until then, she reminds me of Dylan Thomas’s poem about living fully until the moment of death.

Also for a truly wonderful description of my Grandma’s life, I direct you to this post by my cousin.  It captures much of what I find so impressive about my Grandma.


passing away in November

November 15, 2008

I recently learned that my Grandma (my mom’s mom) is in rapid decline and not expected to live much beyond this weekend.  The first call came from my mom last Tuesday and she said that Grandma had all but stopped eating, was taking over 8 tbs of cough syrup a day to keep off coughing fits and was not expected to make it much beyond Thanksgiving.  My Grandma has Parkinson’s and has been in a slow (sometimes painful to watch) decline for several years now.  However it was just during this past year or so that she began to have noticeable break from reality.  Last Christmas she had another bad spell and some aunts and uncles were thinking that she wouldn’t make it past Easter, but Grandma has a way of defying expectations.  However earlier this week she suffered a stroke and is now barely responsive and in hospice, so it looks like it truly will be only a matter of days.

My Grandma is and always has been the grandparent I connected the most with.  Caring, funny, sweet, gracious and a determined host, my childhood memories are peppered with memories of playing authors with her, eating her pumpkin chocolate cookies with her, helping her in the garden.  In fact one time I remember she hosted a sleepover for my two cousins and I at her house and I have slept many a night under the comforters she made for me.  All of those memories are in many ways not that different then many grandparent/grandchild memories, but the thing was I was just one of Grandma’s 33 grandchildren.  Yet I never felt like just one of the crowd or in anyways less special than an only grandchild.

My mom has already left to join her ten siblings at my Grandma’s bed and on Sunday evening they plan on all gathering together and singing hymns to her.  They did that with my Grandpa when he was passing away over 8 years ago.  Sometime either this weekend or early next week I will get a call that says Grandma has finally passed away and then plans will begin on travel, funeral, family time, etc.

Last night at Taize, I kept finding myself crying.  Like my mom said this week, grief comes in waves and one doesn’t always know what inspires a burst of it.  I will miss my Grandma very much, but in many ways she has been leaving for several years.  It was actually during the trip to PA we made for my Pappy’s funeral (almost exactly 4 years ago), when I first began to see how old and ailing she had become.  But yet her spirit has remained very much her own.  During our family’s visit last Christmas, other warned us that she might not recognize us.  The Parkinson’s had finally begun to kick in and she would occasionally lose touch with reality and request or reference people and things from the past.  Yet when we walked in our room, her joy and recognition of us was immediately evident.  We chatted and took her in her wheelchair on a brief stroll around the grounds of the retirement home.  During the way she called me and each of my brothers to her and had little chats about our lives.  She asked about library school and whether I had started scrapbooking (my Grandma was an avid scrapbooker her entire life) and it was clear to me just as it had been when I was a child that Grandma cared about each and everyone of her 33 grandchildren.


Bibles in schools

October 27, 2008

Last week as I was leaving work to go catch the bus, I ran into a group of Gideon men giving out small orange New Testaments.  I took one and stuck in my purse (where it still is today) and walked to the bus stop.  This bus stop is within a block of the high school so as I waited there it began to fill up with high schoolers who had also received their free Bibles.  Here are some of the reactions I saw:

1. One girl, who obviously has some talent as a drama queen, came up with to several of of her friends ranting at quite a loud volume about the inappropriateness of handing out New Testaments on a Jewish holiday.  This led to a discussion about the different religions present at the school.  One boy nearby stated that if you weren’t Jewish or Muslim, you were therefore Christian.  The reactions from the group around him, quickly caused him to state that he was joking.

2. Another boy, hoping to entertain/impress the nearby group of girls, began to read out loud from the Bible in his best TV preacher style.  This included a good amount of pacing and holding his fingers in a peace sign above his head.  Apparently he started in the Gospels (Luke, I think) because he kept talking about Emperor Pilates (pronounced like the exercise) , which I quickly realized was his pronunciation of Pontius Pilate (sounds like pilot).

3. A little while later I overheard one boy telling another that he planed to take the book home to his mother and tell her he had found a new faith, because she was an observant Jew and this would obviously annoy her.

4.  While one student did toss his Bible to anther student and I heard one student talk about tearing out some of the pages, I didn’t see anyone actually destroy their copy.  In fact several appeared to be reading it, or at least picking out interesting passages.

5. After the bus finally arrived and the 30 waiting students and myself got on, I noticed a boy from my church engaged in lengthy discussion with another student about the New Testament.

6. A few days after the Free Bible Day, I was in the library at school when one of our students (a recent immigrant from Asia) came up to me and asked if we had any Bibles in the collection.  He had been reading the New Testament he recieved the other day and wanted a book that had larger type and an old testament.  After showing him wear the Bibles were on the shelves he asked me a few questions about all the different versions we had and said he thought the book was interesting.


finally some news

April 26, 2008

So I eagerly opened my mail box friday afternoon after work (as I have done for the past week) and low and behold there was the long awaited letter from the U of I library school. I opened it and there like I had been thinking was the dreaded rejection letter. For those of you who don’t know I applied to two library science schools this spring. Of the two, one was an inexpensive (comparatively), better rated program that would allow me to take classes online, while the other one was a good program, but more expensive and would mean commuting 2 hours round trip to take night classes. As you probably guessed I didn’t get into the first one, which is obviously a disappointment. But I guess part of almost expected this. Honestly there haven’t been a lot of things in my life academia wise that I have gotten rejected by, with the exception of one college scholarship. I have had a good share of opportunities to study abroad, to take the classes I wanted to take, to get the research grants I wanted. Essentially I was probably due for a good ol’ rejection letter, but of course that doesn’t make me less disappointed.

However the good news is right after opening (the rather dry and harsh, at least to my millennial-need-lots-of-reassurance ears) rejection letter I walked into the kitchen. On the shelf under the kitchen window was one of our 4 trays of soon to be seedlings for our back porch herb garden. And there in the morning glory section were a trio sprouts.

Soon these are gonna be great viney things with blue flowers

Now I have done gardening things before, I get the whole putting things in soil and watching the seeds sprouts. But I have never before started my own (although rather limited) gardening experience and seen the direct results. So seeing these little morning glory sprouts reminded me (in a totally cliche way) that life goes on. And maybe despite my disappointment, going to DU is where God wants me to be going. Who knows the path my life will take as I work my way through my library degree and while I will never be able to know what lay down the path of U of I, I am confident that good things will come of this experience.