Kim Finally Comes Back

I couldn’t get this blog cleaned up enough to post it, but I’m posting it anyway because I will not retype it. Read at your own risk!

I’m sorry for neglecting this wonderful site for so long. There are plenty of excuses I could offer, but none of them would alleviate the injustice of holding back my thoughts from you, so I won’t try. I thought about telling you all about what’s going on at work or what’s going on with Jud’s school, but I’m not sure how to even catch you up. Jud promised I’d give you more details about last Saturday’s Spiritual Formation event, so I suppose that’s where I should begin.

Context: Friday night we met our SF leaders (they came over for a bit to introduce themselves, which was very thoughtful) and then went to watch National Treasure on the lawn at the seminary with some friends. We had a good time, but about half way through the movie, my throat started to burn. By the time we got home, I was in some serious pain, but collapsed in my bed and feel fast asleep. The morning alarm went off way to early and my throat was still burning as was my forehead, but we had to get to the SF day because if we missed it, it would count for all of the allowed absences for the semester. We figured we’d better go.

Off we went to Northwest Bible Church, tissues and throat lozenges in hand. Inside the fellowship hall we found our place and waited. We met another couple from our group and they reminded me so much of Carla and Luke from college that I couldn’t believe they were married. Carla and Luke aren’t married to each other because that would never work, but these two seem to get along just fine. The other couple that was supposed to be in our group bowed out (we’re guessing that after they met the group leaders – who are also first year students and not necessarily the kind of people one would think about choosing for leadership, they panicked and jumped ship). Down to three couples and the day had not yet begun. We sat through a long introduction that was unnecessary and stood while a group from a Mosaic church lead music in a strange Blewett meets Hofer mingling.

Then the real kicker – Bock spoke. Let me tell you that I was horrified by the words coming out of his mouth. I COULD.NOT.BELIEVE.IT For starters he said that the Gospel is not justification. Let me respond. The Good News is absolutely justification. Were it not, it would merely be self-help, pull one’s self up by the bootstraps Protestantism that counts for nothing in eternity. I’m sure he would argue that the Gospel is justification plus X, but the truth is that the Gospel in and of itself is
what’s good. The reconciliation of people back to God the Father through Christ’s death and resurrection is the News we must share with others. It is not that “God has a wonderful plan for your life” or “you can have a Friend with you all the time”. These miss the boat on both the state of humanity (guilty as we are) and the miraculous gift of grace through faith (freely given).

Instead, Bock offered a number of “cores to the Gospel”, which by definition there should really be one core, but I digress. He focused on community as one of the cores and attempted to prove that community is really why the Gospel exists at all. He mentioned corporate forgiveness in the same breath as the Gospel. He tread dangerously close to universalism. He made the case that not being in an SF group removed you from experiencing the Gospel.

t was convoluted. It was non-sequitor. It was frustrating. It was wrong. Let’s just say that I was hot, and not just from the fever coursing through my veins. For a bit, I could not believe the man was actually teaching these things to naïve people who were nodding and smiling and AGREEING with him. I was saddened and sickened and by the time he stopped talking (nearly 20 minutes after his allotted time), I wanted to shout the truth to the lemmings or quietly leave. Both courses of action seemed correct. I did neither.

When it was finally time for lunch, I could no longer keep my head up. The aching and the heat were taking over and I was exhausted. Jud asked if we might have permission to leave (especially given that there was no point to the activities – a complete waste of time) and they granted it.

We went home and I crashed. I slept and slept and slept some more. We went to church the next day at a mega church where the pastor preached a sermon about “The Messy Life of Jake Isaacson” that amounted to an I’m okay/You’re okay because look at Jacob (aka Jake Isaacson), his life was messy too. There was some other touchy feely garbage about asking people for forgiveness and “dealing with the pain” in our lives. Nothing exegetical and the worship leader shouted “louder” at us. It was kind of painful. Or maybe that was the sickness taking over again.

We went home and I slept and slept and slept. I called my boss and said I wouldn’t be in on Monday. I slept all day Monday and took drugs and my fever finally broke in the afternoon.

Tuesday was back to work day where I had plenty to do and even left the day with a project to work on for Wednesday. Jud doesn’t have class on Tuesday nights, so we got to see each other a bit more too. I went to Baylor Hospital and had an MRI and MRA done. It was kind of intimidating to be inserted into a hollow tube and have magnetic pictures taken of my head. But, I did it and now we wait to hear if I have nothing wrong with me, something wrong with me or Something Wrong. I’m sure it’s probably the first one. I don’t want anything to be wrong, but there’s also this part of me that’s all “you know what? If we are paying thousands of dollars out of pocket for these stupid tests, it better be worth it.” And for some reason “worth it”
equals sickness and not the peace of mind of not being ill. Silly logic is really no logic at all.

Wednesday a router died and I could not access the website from which I do my work. I did have the project from Tuesday to finish and think I did a good job with it. I had interviews for a different position within the same company. The first interview went well. The second did not. I’m kind of doubtful I’ll get it now. During the second interview I was asked “What exactly were you thinking you would do with a degree in Biblical Studies and Christian Education?” Thinking back on it now, I think I handled it okay, but it was such an odd question. It was nine years ago when I was deciding the answer to that question and let’s just say that your life doesn’t always pan out the way you once thought it would. Allison pointed out that if I had a business degree the same question would not have been posed. An excellent point. I
pretty much felt attacked for my religious beliefs by the end of it and may have been a bit defensive about my life, but what’s done is done.

For anyone wondering, I’m actually pretty proud of my life. I think I’ve accomplished quite a bit. I’ve traveled Europe. I’ve summated mountains and survived in the wilderness on my own. I’ve discipled young women on every issue from sex to money to parental obedience. I’ve lead people to Christ. I’ve organized an international convention that went really well. I met and married an amazing man who loves me even when I am a brat, who does the dishes when I’m sick, and who wants to give his life so that others might know God. I have amazing friends, far away though they may be, for whom I would give my all. I have parents who are truly the best a person could ever have – unconditional love, deep wells of grace and wisdom beyond
this world. I have picked up my life and moved to a place that I do not want to live so that my husband might further his education and our lives and I only complain a bit. I’ve para-glided. I’ve been white water rafting in the Rockies and the Alps. I’ve skied and snowboarded. I’ve sung until I lost my voice. I’ve prayed through the night. And really, whatever that woman thinks of me, doesn’t matter in the end. I love my life and I wouldn’t trade it.


So far it sounds like Hurricane Rita is easing up as it approaches. At least people are exercising caution as they are actually evacuating the areas forecast to be hit. There was some sad news I heard on the radio this morning as I was driving to classes. I guess for me its always difficult to imagine senior citizens perishing in such a violent manner. When I was eating lunch today it looked like New Orleans is flooding again due to the rain. On that note, lets here it for the mayor of New Orleans how told everyone last week that it was okay to return. Posted by Picasa

God’s judgment of the south continues as we’re getting set for our first hurricane (or at least the remains of it). While we’re not supposed to get hit with the brunt part of the storm, we should recieve tropical storm levels of wind and rain as well as the possible tornado. This should make for an eventful weekend if nothing else. Sunday we actually start our SF groups so it’ll be really interesting to see how things go.  Posted by Picasa

Nebraska vs. Pitt

Woah. Today’s football game was quite the nail-biter. Something has to happen with the offense eventually, perhaps having next week off will help out a little bit. Kim and I were fortunate enough to watch it on my laptop since the game is not part of our regional coverage. It wound up costing us $20 which we likely would have spent on food and drink if we would have gone out to watch it. Watching the game on a computer is definitely an experience, but not something I would recommend to those of you who could just watch it on TV. I’m sure our next door neighbor (Stacy) thinks we’re crazy for all the yelling and cheering she heard through my office wall.

Today we had our Spiritual Formation Group kickoff… To start out the day Kim woke up with a crazy cold and flu feeling (which later would get considerately worse) then we sat around with really no purpose at the actual meeting until noon. I really don’t understand why people spend so much money on things that are so worthless. I’ll save the rest of the commentary of our SF experience for Kim though. Posted by Picasa

Like a bell tolling from another world…

Today was another full day. Full of learning and full of thinking. I know that I should really be researching stuff right now for a small project that I have due tomorrow night but this past hour and a half has been to some respect the first free time I’ve had all day.

My classes are pretty great so far. On top of my already busy Wednesday schedule I began a small group lunch meeting with Bob Wilkin who never ceases to give me things to talk about. A lot of the stuff we talked about today I can’t get out of my mind. The primary thing that is weighing on me is regarding a hermeneutical method that redefines Scriptural inerrancy. [If you want to know more about it, write me an email or give me a call and I’d be glad to tell you more.]

This weekend we begin our Spiritual Formation groups which will last the entire next two years with the same group of people. (Here’s hoping we actually like the group) It should be a good experience. Everything starts with a big kickoff on Saturday that lasts the entire day. With the football game starting at 2:30, I’m hoping that by the entire day they mean 2 pm. Well, I should do that research now. Good night. – Jud

One thousand years in a day (II Peter 3:8)
100 billion galaxies
Are but the fringe of His works
A whisper of reality
Who then can understand
The thunder of His power
That filled the seven seas
And painted every flower? (Job 26)

Now to, the King, eternal, immortal
Now to, the King, eternal, invisible
Now to the King, the only God
Be honor and glory forever and ever (I Timothy 1:17)
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Not Today

It is Wednesday. Wednesday in September at 5:39 pm and I am not preparing for 150 children and 90 adults to enter my life. I will not hold little skinny baby with the big eyes. I will not listen to 3 year-olds recite memorized portions of the Bible. I will not catch up with the women who should really be in the gym right now with the girls.

There are other things I will not do either. I will not stay at work for fourteen hours. I will not have back spasms from walking around for hours. I will not have to deal with people trying to use our program as additional childcare for their foster children. I will not have to figure out who didn’t flush that toilet or where the goop on the wall came from or how to clean it up.

But right now…I wish for all of it. The junky junk and the sweet goodness. I’ll take it all back. I miss it. And I miss you.

Worlds Collide

Today while working at my desk, slowly because there is no hurry and not much to do, I got a knock on my cube wall and turned to see a familiar face from Omaha. Someone from church. They are the one who helped me land this job. And I feel sheepish all of the sudden. Strange to be in this juxtaposition. Where I worked before, people came onto my territory. They were always on my home field and I had all the answers. When was this happening? Who did this happen to? Where would this be found? I know. I know. I know. Now, I know little. I know a little niche thing my company does. And really, I don’t know it in it’s totality yet, so my amount of know is small now. I feel like a kid, sitting there while two people stand looking down at me. We talk, but the relationship has changed. I no longer know. I am the one who must be informed. I dislike this so much. Know it all, you might have said before. And while it’s true that sometimes my attitude was off, I really did know almost all of my domain. I had knowledge and if you believe the song I learned in DARE in the 5th grade, Knowledge is power, grab it while you can.

I am frustrated with the company that pays me. It is not the company where I work as I am a contractor (translation: we do not wish to pay you benefits and like the idea of doing away with your position without any notice) and thus I am technically employed by another. They do not specialize in professionalism. They do specialize in untimely service and talking on the telephone to their friends/family while helping you at the front desk. I wonder how much these people get paid and if I can work here because clearly you need not even bathe before coming in. However, I couldn’t take the smell, nor the bad teeth and so I will not apply there. I could never be so inept. Nearly four weeks ago I gave them all the information one would need to set up direct deposit. It is still not happening and they did not bother to tell me ahead of time. Why would they do a thing like communicate with me? I’m only a way for them to produce an income. My job is supposed to get on the books with my company soon and I pray that there are no hang ups to that transition because the hassle in the meantime s-u-c-k’s (Spelling means the children won’t know what I said. And you know what knowing gives them).