Thursday, February 26, 2009

T-Shirts

I've had a few conversations lately with a variety of people, all centering around the same topic: Christianity. If you know me very long at all, you will come to find out that I can't stand the way that 'Christian' has become a term that doesn't define who one is, but IS defined by a certain Americanized stereotype-a stereotype that, sadly, is usually not far from the truth.

While I learned a lot growing up and many of my experiences have shaped the way I view things now, there were many things that churches I attended and Christians I looked up to took part in that, looking back, were as far from 'Christian' as I want to be. Things like getting into theological debates with people on the streets of Chicago because we were 'practicing witnessing' while at a summer camp, or standing on a bridge holding signs saying things like 'Abortion is Murder'. When I think about how those people must have responded-how I would have responded-in those situations, it basically comes down to "Screw you."

I'm not saying that I don't stand up for my beliefs, or share those with others, but I think there is a right and wrong way to go about it, and the previously mentioned tactics would go under the 'wrong' category. Jesus Himself spent lots of time with those He ministered to, getting to know them and where they were in life, practically SHOWING the message He was preaching. I think meeting someone's need, such as bringing them food when their husband was laid off, shows Christ's love, rather than saying, "You're a sinner, you need Jesus." Yes, they need Jesus, but right then, they need food.

It's like if I knew a friend was looking for a dining room table (OK, this is on a MUCH smaller scale, but go with it), and I found a great deal on one that was great quality I knew they would like. I would share with them what I had found because I knew from my own experience how it could meet their need, not because they were a random person on the street and I said "Hey, there's a table inside, it's cheap, you should buy it right now!" Same thing with the gospel. If I share it with you, I want it to be because of the impact it's had on my life, and I can see how it's going to truly impact yours, not because I think I'm right and you're wrong.

All of that can be summed up in this one amazing song by Derek Webb. If you don't know him, you should look him up: he's satirical, ironic, sarcastic, but most of all....honest. Enjoy.

T-Shirts
they'll know us by the t-shirts that we wear
they'll know us by the way we point and stare
at anyone whose sin looks worse than ours
who cannot hide the scars of this curse that we all bare

they’ll know us by our picket lines and signs
they’ll know us by the pride we hide behind
like anyone on earth is living right
and isn’t that why Jesus died
not to make us think we’re right

chorus
when love, love, love
is what we should be known for
love, love, love
it’s the how and it’s the why
we live and breathe and we die

they’ll know us by reasons we divide
and how we can’t seem to unify
because we’ve gotta sing songs a certain style
or we’ll walk right down that aisle
and just leave ‘em all behind

they’ll know us by the billboards that we make
just turning God’s words to cheap clich├ęs
says “what part of murder don’t you understand?”
but we hate our fellow man
and point a finger at his grave

chorus
they'll know us by the t-shirts that we wear
they'll know us by the way we point and stare
telling ‘em their sins are worse than ours
thinking we can hide our scars '
beneath these t-shirts that we wear

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Spontaneity

I am not one for Valentine's Day. Maybe I'm cynical, but I find it so cliche. At least for right now. I think when I have kids it will be a lot of fun, but I prefer randomness and total surprises verses a planned day that everyone else also has planned to celebrate, and that feeds off consumers so that every price is jacked up.

Because of this, I asked Jim not to do anything for me on Valentine's day, but to just randomly do something some other time. Last week we were at Whole Foods and found some Hydrangea for $4, which is my favorite flower, so we got that, and it is still blooming away in my kitchen, so I'm happy. :) I say all of this to preface the fact that I was just expecting a non-exciting Saturday, possibly working around the house, nothing big.

Jim, however, woke up and actually suggested we go check out books from the library and then go sit OUTSIDE at the park and read them-he thought it sounded fun. If you know me, you know I LOVE to read, and am slightly obsessed with being outside. And if you know Jim, you know that he would much prefer to be inside, probably working on the house. So, I took full advantage of this opportunity. We went to the library, then stopped at the J. Crew sale (which I'm also obsessed with) then on to the park. We read until it got chilly, then he suggested going to Dicken's bookstore for coffee...another 2 of my favorite things. Then, he decided to make a completely random drive to Roanoke to eat at Red Robin, because he wanted their ranch and fries! Again, COMPLETELY out of the ordinary for Jim! So...on to Roanoke we went, grabbed dinner, and drove back to meet Matt and Sara for drinks and some Wii playing.

Today, we went to Charlottesville to meet Jim's family for lunch/watching the Daytona 500. (no way that was being missed by certain members of the family, lol) We got to go to Whole Foods, then hung out a Wild Wings all afternoon.

My weekend has consisted of books, J. Crew, outdoors with beautiful weather, coffee, travel, great friends, family, Whole Foods, wings and some Blue Moon. Seriously, this has been a great weekend, and completely unexpected...which is how I like it! :)


On a side note...I am watching I AM SAM on DVR...I adore this movie. I cry everytime I watch it, even though I can quote almost the whole thing. "These shoes...they light up. These would make great shoes for school." :D

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Why I Can't Stand Stupid People.

Some background: I am currently director of my company's Deaf and hard of hearing services program. I was recently moved into also being the supervisor of all the job coaches, and assisting in some of the operations and administration of the company. To be honest, I have no idea what my title is right now! While I am enjoying it, I am realizing that promotions=more stress, this mostly caused by other people's stupidity.

You would think that I was talking about those I superivise...but no. They are wonderful. I have very little problems with them (not to mention one is one of my best friends and one is my husband). The ignorance I speak of comes from people (one in particular today, who shall remain nameless) at the state department. Nevermind that they are required to have Master's degrees, get to sit in their office most days from 9-5 while we actually work with the clients in the field at all hours of the day, or that they get paid double our salary. I truly believe 1/2 of them (not all-there are a few who are WONDERFUL) could qualify for services.

Today, I had to call this certain person because they asked one of the job coaches to change documentation because they didn't want to pay for it. This thing they didn't want to pay for? A meeting that they had called. Apparently, they decided that when they thought the meeting was over, they would keep the job coach there discussing other things, taking up their time, and not pay them for it. When I confronted the person on this, they actually said "Well, I hinted at them a couple times that I wouldn't pay for them to be there." You hinted?! You called the meeting! Until you say "We're finished, you can go", they are on your clock.

This wouldn't have upset me, had I not had run-ins very similar to this before. Every time I have spoken with this person, they talk down to me, seem to think that they are God, and are completely, utterly unprofessional. I'm sorry, but if you are a professional adult, please act like one. And the fact that I am over 1/2 your age and having to tell you that is very sad indeed.

Not knowing exactly how our job works, this probably makes no sense to anyone reading this (except Katie, lol). I just had to vent about it somewhere. I have an extremely low tolerance for rude and arrogant people, and have a tendency to see them as a challenge. I somehow decide to take it upon myself to remind them that they are no more special than anyone else, and in fact, with the way they act, deserve less respect than most other people. One of these days, that could get me in trouble, but I am one for being blunt and not beating around the bush. You are no better than anyone else, and if you haven't figured that out yet, it's about time someone told you. Life's much happier when you see people eye to eye, not staring down at the top of their head.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Big Apple

So...as a graduation present to Jim for completing his Master's degree, we took a little trip to NYC! It was an absolute blast, despite the FRIGID temps!! James and Katie went with us, and a good time was had by all! Here are some pics from our trip:
Crossing into New York via the Holland Tunnel.

At our WONDERFUL Italian restaurant before the show!





Me and the hubs in Times Square before seeing Phantom...which was amazing, btw!




The armor room...one of my favorite rooms at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.




A lovely pianoforte on display at the Met.




Katie and James in The Black Sheep...fun little Irish Pub we found around the corner.






View of the Chrysler Building from our street corner. GREAT location.






All in all, a fabulous trip! I'll put more pics on facebook...Jim got some great ones on his "nice" camera while we were at Central Park.