Wednesday, March 26, 2008

You've Got Something To Say

My roommate bought the new Matthew West CD. He's a pretty cool dude, and has a great way with words. His latest project is called Something to Say, and this is an idea that I love. I do believe we've all got something to say, because, as Matthew says in the song, "God is love and love speaks through you." I've been watching and discussing Rob Bell's Nooma videos a lot, in my Bible study and campus ministry stuff, and last night we watched the Rhythm video, where Rob talks about God through the metaphor of song. We play a song with our lives, and the question is whether or not we are in tune with God's song. Like Matthew also says, "No one can say it quite like you do."

I've done talks and discussions before on this theme, and it brings to mind another Nooma I watched at Bible study last week. God has created us good, and though we have been corrupted by the Fall and have sinful human natures, I believe we are also inherently good. We believe in the power of Jesus, and he believes in us! Think about who he used to accomplish his work in the first century -- the disciples, the B-team benchwarmers. They changed the world! (From "Dust".)

Here are the lyrics to that song. Enjoy! ~'til next time...

But the whole wide world is waiting for you to step out that door
Come on and let your life be heard today
You've got something to say
If you're living
If you're breathing
You've got something to say
You know if your heart is beating
You've got something to say
And no one can say it like you do
God is love and love speaks through you
You got it, you got it
You've got something to say
Listen up I've got a question here
Would anybody miss you if you disappeared?
Your life is the song that you sing
And the whole wide world is listening
Well the answer to the question is you were created
Your life is a gift
And the lights are shining on you today
You've got something to say

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I LOVE everything Irish. I think I have enough Irish paraphernalia to decorate a whole room of my house. I have enough Irish-related books to fill a whole bookshelf (or close to). But, despite my Celtic-sounding last name... I am NOT Irish.

At least not as far as I know. My mom's family has researched their genealogical history waay back, and they are quite thoroughly German. To my knowledge, though, no one has traced my dad's family history back very far. It's entirely possible that I might have some Irish in me... But then again I might not!

Despite confusion on my historical blood line, I LOVE Ireland.

When I was in college, I spent a semester studying abroad on the Emerald Isle (spring '04). I fell in love with the history, the culture, the people, the castles, the scenery, the food, the accents, the shopping... I could go on. I busted out my scrapbook today to spend some time reminiscing. (The scrapbook was, by the way, a one-time only thing. Gracious do those things take a lot of time!) If you ever want to hear about my trip, come over and I'd be glad to give you a tour via scrapbook. But until then, here are 10 things that I LOVE about Ireland (in no particular order).

1. Fish and Chips -- a heart attack in a paper bag, doused with another heart-attack's worth of salt and vinegar.

2. Bewley's -- the perfect cup of tea! I learned the art of drinking my tea with milk and sugar in Irleand.

3. St. Patrick's Day Parade -- the most random parade that I have ever seen, complete with dancing polar bears and men on stilts. and lots of drunk people.

4. Trains -- the best form of public transportation.

5. Castles -- and cathedrals, and mountains, and miscellaneous statues... everywhere you look in Ireland there is a statue or a plaque commemorating the historical significance of some particular place.

6. The Bad Ass Cafe -- Ass is not a bad word in Europe, which is why it's so much fun to say!

7. Stella Mew -- my Irish literature professor, who could tell you absolutely everything you ever wanted (or didn't want) to know about William Butler Yeats, right down to the color of underwear he was buried in (not really).

8. Live music in the pub -- every pub, on every corner! The flutes, violins, guitars, bodhrans (drums), etc, best enjoyed with a pint of Guinness. (Guinness, by the way, is disgusting!)

9. Ceili -- Irish dancing. enough said.

10. Canceling class because of a sunny day -- only in Ireland!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Spring Break 2008

One of the really great things about working in campus ministry is that I still get to celebrate things like Spring Break and a 2-week Christmas break. Last week I went down to Bay St. Louis, MS with a group of 30 from La Roche College. It was an AWESOME week. I have to be honest, I was a little apprehensive about the trip at the start. I only knew 3 of the 18 students who were coming. Along with that, we had four men from my coworker TR's church, the College Activity director from La Roche, and three nuns coming with us. I was really just praying that we would all get along!!! As it turns out, that was the least of my worries. The kids got along with each other really well, and they all bonded with the "old guys." And we would have been NOWHERE without Sister Elena, Sister Rose, and Sister Judy.

Surprisingly, our biggest problem was that we didn't have enough work to do! We spent a lot of time cleaning, one particularly long afternoon picking up trash from along the roadside, and even had a nap or two in the middle of the day. The kids were complaining that they didn't feel like they were working hard enough! They really just wanted to help people. Thankfully, though, by the end of the week, we had some more projects, and I think all of the kids felt fulfilled and that the trip was worthwhile.

Though the trip was through a religious organization (a partnership between our CCO fellowship group and the La Roche Campus Ministry dept.), I don't believe all the kids were religious. I hope that last week we were able to "live Jesus" for them. But I think the most exciting thing was that we were able to really live out community with each other -- community that is not divided by denominations or rituals, community that is able to learn and accept and love.

There are oodles of pictures on Facebook, if you care to take a look. We had great worship, hard workers, and a LOT of laughter! God really blessed us on this spring break trip. Thanks for all your prayers!