This is a random mix of daily novelties
Saturday, November 16, 2002
Lazy Saturday. Met with Rick Diamond yesterday at Quack's to discuss ideas about Wabi-Sabi. Nice guy, and helped us come to some good ideas about what this event could look like. Fresh perspectives always seem to help rejuvenate the excitement level. Im really looking forward to March and I think Wabi Sabi has the potential to be a fab event... I always love a good party.
While Rick was brainstorming some ideas yesterday, I fazed out and really felt God put something on me that I needed to ponder for a bit. The word that kept coming to me was "tainted", although it seems very harsh and negitive to me now. Digging deeper, I realized that I now understand, for the most part, the language of the "emerging culture". I understand the language of the exsisting traditional church, I can speak Christianese...I can speak all these languages and the various dialects if need be.
Now for the problem... now that I've learned these new languages, I have begun to loose and forget where I came from not too long ago. I'm loosing touch on how the rest of the people of the world speak and think. My circles seem big because I'm in them and involved with them everyday.
In reality, when looking at the big picture, they're so small. You think that there are 6 degress of seperation between us in this "emerging culture"? Nope, sorry, try more like one or two at best. Maybe three or four when you talk about all the Christians combined in the US.
I've always called myself Christian because I went to church, my parents go to church, my grandparents go to church.
Now for the embarassing part...even though I "grew up in the church" I don't ever remember reading the Bible. All that I knew was a few stories from Sunday school and lots of references to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I'd never prayed out loud or with a group of people until recently. I was scared to death the first time I had to do it.
Once, during my rebel teenager period, I tried to sit down and read the Bible from cover to cover. The main purpose was so that I had a leg to stand on when debating people like my father. I was trying to come up with what I believed in and was willing to look anywhere from Atheism to Zen Buddism. The Bible didn't seem like more than a book of moral teachings and a few good stories, from what I knew of it.
Like many, I got to the begots in Genesis and threw up my hands in bordom...it wasn't worth it.
The circumstances for me have been very different than for most, they were very unusual. God led me to a community in Prague that became my daily church, there was hunger for the Word and a desire for "training". I enrolled in a 9 mth. Certified Applied Theology program. I was immersed in nothing other than Him and how to get closer to Him, everyday of my life for more than a year. There was daily encouragement from my community, and those that I lived with were carrying wisdom and experience, so if I ever had a question or needed guidance, someone was more than willing to help.
There are not the words to describe what I've received in the last few years. Blessed is the closest but it does it no justice. But, like I said, my case is unusual.
So, now my point, and I do have one. How do you have relationships outside the bubble if you don't speak the same language and if you are not aware that they speak something else, even if it sounds similar.
We have, in a sense, become tainted. We have allowed our own agendas to blind us to the purpose that Christ gave us. We have started our own language that only we can really understand, although we assume that everyone out there is on the same page and at the same level, and they are not. We don't know how to relate anymore, we can't speak the native tongue any longer. If you don't use it, you loose it. And the worst part is, we don't seem to care. If you're interested...catch up! There are people caught in the middle.
There are people out there just like me who want what I have now and don't know it. They are getting by and feel fine with where they are, because they don't know there is more. My prayer is that people that are somewhere in the realm of complacancy, somehow get to really understand and experience the intimate love and devotion that comes upon having a relationship with Jesus. Complacancy is scary and wrong. I know that and have done nothing to help anyone else, I've been more concerned about catching up personally. How have I forgotten that two years ago I didn't know the difference between the Old Testament and the New, I thought that the word religion and spiritual were interchangable. I forgot what it felt like the first time I realized that prayer works and I didn't have to do it out of obligation, but out of want and need to feel the Spirit.
More "me's" are out there and in need of us remembering, or in some cases, learning how to relate to me 2 years ago.
Friday, November 15, 2002
I HATE NOT BEING ABLE TO SPELL!!!! Just finished blogging something that God really put on my heart and felt so good about it...tried to find the friging spell check to make sure I spelled "synonymous" correctly (which I did by the way and only adds to the frustration),and lost it!!!! Drat...will try again later
Shannon, my new partner in crime, and I are off shortly to go meet Rick Diamond. We are hoping to get some more ideas and direction for the "Wabi Sabi" conference March 28-30 here in Austin.
Hope we get to do it at Spider House, it by far is the coolest coffeehouse around. Austin rocks!
Can't wait to figure out how my blog can not look so boring
Thursday, November 14, 2002
This is my first blog...guess I should begin by introducing myself. Im Jessica, 28 years old. Grew up in Charlotte, NC and at 18 began working for a company which advanced me quickly up the ranks. I moved to some really great places throughout the south east. At 25 or so, the realization can upon me that I was not happy with what I was doing with my life and how it had turned out thus far...there had to be more. My grandmother took me on my first trip to Europe, which began with a brief stop in Prague Czech Rep. for three days, and then Slovakia to see where my family came from. It was a trip that forever changed my life. The second day into Prague I knew thats where I wanted to live. Went home, quit my "big girl" job and moved back to Charlotte to save money to go over. It was exciting, and the people at home thought I was crazy. No one could believe that I would move over to another country without a friend, a job, or a place to live. All I knew was I wanted to find "my people". I knew that there were people just like me who were looking for something more...wasn't quite sure what that was going to look like but knew they would be found.
My goal was one year as a full time tourist but that became boring after the first month. Signed up for a Czech Language course and met Andrew and Debbie Jones. Now I know "it was a God thing" but at the time it was so natural that He connected us. Ended up traveling with them over the summer and knew at this point that my life was being directed, and had been since conceiving the mere idea of me. It was amazing finally to see how the puzzle was being put together, and to now understand in part, how these pieces had been placed over the course of my life.
I had always considered myself a Christian, didn't give it much thought past that...grew up in a nondenominational church, had Christian parents, grandparents,and other than an interesting teenage rebellion period, thought I was a pretty good person...just knew God would let me into the pearly gates when I finally bumped. Tried to FORCE myself to pray everynight...you know "Thanks God for this day, please take away my sins, please bless my friends and my family, thanks for everything, oh yea, please come into my heart and be Lord and Savior... AMEN". Got really good at that and most of the time I didn't have to even think about what I was saying, the words came into my head and I figured God would be satisfied. Isn't that what makes us good Christians?!
Didn't talk about my beliefs with anyone and didn't want to hear others beliefs either...its your own business and besides most of the Christians that I had encountered in the past really scared me...the ones that would walk up to you out of the blue and ask "have you found Jesus yet" and "if you died tonight where would you go"...it really freaked me out.
I thought that if you openly expressed your faith, especially with others, you must be a southern baptist and that was a title no one wanted pegged on themselves. Funny considering I grew up in the heart of the south and southern baptist land, but at least around my circles, it was uncool.
Lets just say that there has been a lot of growing in the last few years. God really stretched my tent posts and I have discovered that "personal relationship with Christ" that I had heard about but never understood to be more than another catch phrase for freaky overzealous Christians.
Wednesday, November 13, 2002
is this thing on?