Sunday, July 27, 2003
So now I'm in Texas.
Its freaking awesome, we're having such an amazing time. Apologies for those of you who keep coming back to see if I've posted, and get nuthin. I promise that once I'm back in Scotland again next week that things will pick up again. I'll catch you up on all the America goings-on.
Good times. Good times.
Saturday, July 12, 2003
The Whirl-Wind Nashville/Memphis Trip was awesome kids.
Y'all rock the hizzle, fo shizzle.
Wednesday, July 09, 2003
I've been swapping some stuff around on the site, adding some new quotes and such, since I've been listening to and reading new things. And since its the first time in a while that I've had time to change much. That and I just haven't been sleeping well. So the middle of the night is as good a time as any....
Hope you like em...
Luther on Marriage:
Young folks are brought up in such a way that a girl is ashamed to ask God for a boy, and a boy is ashamed to ask God for a girl. They imagine that asking God for this is a very foolish thing and they must plunge into this matter of their own accord.
This is why marriage so rarely turns out well. Should not a girl in all seriousness pray with all confidence: "Behold, dear God, I have now come to those years in my life when I would like to become married. Be Thou my Father, and let me by Thy child. Give me a pious boy, and graciously help me enter the married estate; or if it please Thee, give me the spirit to remain chaste"?
In this way a boy, too, ought to pray for a girl and should no begin everything of his own accord, bur pray God to begin it and lay the first stone. Such young people are real children of God. They begin nothing, no matter how trivial it may be, without first paying their respects to God in the matter.
Now, I'm not saying that I'm ready for marriage. But I found this to be interesting....especially since I fully believe that not much has changed since Luther's day, especially concerning asking God for a mate. We have a million dating books, we've tried everything from kissing it goodbye to hugging it hello. I sit and listen to my friends tell me how ready they are for marriage, how they're searching. I wonder if we lack boldness in coming before the throne of God, to ask things for ourselves. I believe we are taught this is selfish. Shouldn't we be spending our breath on world hunger instead? I find I learn more about myself, more about my own desires, through prayer. Someone (I have it in my quote book in Scotland....and of course, I'm not in Scotland...) once said that God learns nothing new through our prayer, but we learn more about ourselves. And I agree.
Props to my girl Rhonda for sharing that quote, too. Good stuff.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16 )
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you... (Matt 7:7)
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Eph 3: 20, 21)
Am I the only one who thinks Anderson Cooper off of CNN is hot? Man, last year, I'd watch The Mole just to see him. I mean, I loved the show. But he's hot.
And he's got a first name like Anderson. That's even hotter.
Oh, and remember when, a few weeks ago, I fell in love with "Tell Her This" by Del Amitri? Found the CD (Twisted) for $1.99 at Goodwill.
And that is all for today. :)
Tuesday, July 08, 2003
Okay. Here's the secret, if you wanna know.
Archives show up if you put "www" before the site address. If you leave it without, you get no archives.
Good to know.
WHY WON'T MY ARCHIVES LIST SHOW UP?!
*Count to ten and breathe, Michaela...*
THEY STILL DON'T WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ya know, its amazing. People can read whatever they want into things, instead of reading what's actually there. And they can use it as a weapon. I hate that.
Monday, July 07, 2003
On "Punk-Rawk" Love and Quantum Physics....
I am almost certain that whenever I walk into a Starbucks, they put a sign on my back that says "Talk to me". Not that I mind. Because I've met some of the most interesting people in Starbucks. And always Starbucks....never at my other coffeeshops, the Artista or the Politik or Favorit.
Take, for instance, Ella at my Edinburgh shop. Ella is beautiful. She's fully Korean, but grew up in Glasgow and spent time in Canada. She sounds American to me. The only reason I can remember her name is because I connected it to Ella Fitzgerald. She was always working when I would stop in to work on papers. One Sunday I was there to listen to a worship band play, and the church was giving out free drinks. When someone else left their coupon, she ran over and gave it to me, so that I could have an extra drink. How great is that? Ella swapped her hours for my normal work hours, so I don't see her as much. But if you stop into that one, on the corner of Forrest Road and Middle Meadow, say hi to her for me.
Back in Atlanta, when I was living in Peachtree City, I met two guys. Its been over a year, so I don't remember their names. I never remember names. The black guy was tall and lanky, and actually reminded me of a better-looking Steve Urkel. Of course I never told him that. He noticed I was always writing, and he asked if I could read some of his poetry, tell him what I thought. He was so sincere, I didn't have the heart to tell him it was as crappy as it was. I made constructive critisisms, but pointed out the good things. I think I even made up some good things. I know, I'm horrible. Hindsight, considering the crush the guy had on me, I probably could have told him anything and he wouldn't have minded. We talked a lot about God, a lot about what we believed. I was never sure if he actually was interested in what I had to say about God, or if he was just interested in me. But he was a good guy. He had a good heart.
The white guy...I have no idea how we started talking. I remember we had a semi-mutual friend, in that I worked with his friend's Dad at OM (semi-mutual in the most liberal of definitions...). I liked him. For some reason, he told me things you don't usually tell strangers at Starbucks. He was an incredible Christian who wasn't afraid to admit his never-ending screw ups....which is something that's hard to find in anyone, harder still to find in a Christian. He told me about his high school rebellion, and his struggles with homosexuality. (Which was a shame, because by that point I pretty much wanted to marry him.) We had a great talk, for hours. And then he got in his car and I never saw him again. He said he would try to remember to pray for me, but that he wasn't good at remembering, to be honest. I said I was the same.
Today I met John and Blake. John is a HUGE black guy. If I saw him on the street I would think he's a pro football player. Blake is a skinny white guy, mid-twenties, too cool for himself. He'd earlier asked me about the book I was reading, Blue Like Jazz, because he likes jazz. In a short chat we discussed Miles Davis and Muddy Waters. Then John came back from the restroom, and the two of them started talking again.
John and Blake are friends because they are both always at Starbucks. Between swapping Eva Cassidy for Idlewild, John asked what I was listening to. And with that, I was invited into the conversation.
John just quit his job at the airline to work as a writer. He's starting a part-time job at Channel 4 to help for a while. He comes to Starbucks to sit at the big table in the corner and write his screenplay. It's about a guy who lives a few seconds in the future. Blake interjected that the possiblity is there, if you know the quantum physics of it. (I was wondering if the average weekend moviegoer knows quantum physics, but I kept this thought to myself.) Seems John is already in talks with a producer, and he's tweaking it for certain directors and actors, which he didn't name and I didn't ask about, though I was wondering.
Blake works at the camera shop. He majored in graphic communications with an emphaisis in photography. He does some freelance photography and writing on the side. He's hates New York and Chicago, but loves London, and is convinced he knows everything. He once sailed for 40 days in a catamaran around the Carribbian Islands (this fact coming about at my mention of the Doulos: "I did something kinda like that..." he says). His dream is to go maritime school and be a sailor.
I should have asked him why he isn't doing that.
The three of us talked about an hour, and they filled me in on all the other regulars: Max, the writer who "writes about nothing...well, about God, and his perpective...but he's kinda fanatical" (I want to talk to this guy...I've seen him 3 times already), and his girl, Danielle. Apparently, the guy I saw last night with the frizzy hair is named John Frizz. Ironic. His hippie wife is named Mary. Dan is an old guy who pops in once in a while. Christine is Asian, and she comes in with her old-man finacee and little daughter who is nearly a clone of herself. There were many more. Eventually, John got a call from his wife, and he went home to put his daughter to bed. He never did get any work done, because of our chat, but he didn't mind. Blake left soon after.
It was a good talk.
The other week I met Daniel. He works at the Independence Starbucks, which is one of my favorites. I was wearing my orange "Ultimate Fakebook" t-shirt. For the record, I've only heard a little of UF, and that was back in high school. I just liked the shirt, and got it for about $1.50 at the thrift store. He asked me about it, and so we started talking about music. He'd throw in comments about his wife...enough to convince me his was madly in love with her. I was shocked he was married. The guy looked no older than 18. He was good looking, nonetheless...in that...punk/pop sorta way. He then talks about this band he's in and says its "pretty hardcore Christian"....apparently, he could tell I was a Christian. And ya know what? I was thinking he was too. It was crazy. Anyway, so we talked a while. He worked. At some point a lady came in...she looked like she was in her upper 20's or early 30's. She was extremely pregnant, and (I cannot say this in a nice way) not carrying the extra weight so well. And she looked exausted. Suddenly, Daniel looks up from the counter and says: "Oh hey! This is my wife, Kristen. Kristen, this is Michaela. She's a Christian!" Kristen didn't seem happy to see me, but then, it didn't seem she was having a good day. He took a break and they talked at another table.
In a way, Daniel and Kristen gave me so much hope. If I'm being honest, I was completely expecting this little punk--pop skinny beautiful girl to be this guys wife. I'm still hoping I hid the shock well when I actually met her. Kristen was not terribly pretty...at that moment. (I'm pretty sure she was, though, naturally pretty.) But I'm convinced that's exactly how I will look when I'm pregnant....huge, walking around in massive sweats and undone hair. And you know what? He loved her to death. He really did. They sat at that table and prayed together and I nearly cried at the sight of it. Maybe its a child-of-divorce thing. Maybe its an insecurity/self-image thing. But for some reason, Daniel and Kristen convinced me that its actually possible to be loved like that.
The moral of the story is....go meet people at Starbucks. Its a great place to meet people. And if you hate the idea of feeding corperate pockets, just sit there and steal the milk and Equal packets.
Sunday, July 06, 2003
Jane Tyson Clement
No one compels you, traveler;
this road or that road, make your choice!
Dust or mud, heat or cold,
fellowship or solitude,
foul weather or a fairer sky,
the choice is yours as you go by.
But here if you would take this path
there is a gate whose latch is love,
whose key is single and which swings
upon the hinge of faithfulness,
and none can mock, who seeks this way,
the king we worship shamelessly.
If you would enter, traveller,
into this city fair and wide,
it is forever and you leave
all trappings of the self outside.
So here's this poem. And I like it. On inital read....I thought it was great. So I read it again. And again.
And I don't think I agree with it.
First of all....the first line. "No one compels you." I can't say that I'm fully Reformed/Calvinist. But I do think that Christ *is* compelling. I do think there is something (or....everything) that draws us to him. Last Sunday, the pastor at church (have I mentioned how GREAT it was to get back to my church?!) spoke on the topic: "Has Jesus been 'Musaked'" What he meant by it was that Christ has been made nice...inoffensive. The band took some good songs ("Carry On: by Kansas....I love that song...and they did it) and did it the "powerful" way...and then turned it into elevator music on the second go. We've made Jesus harmless. My point? The Jesus of the Gospels is compelling. We see him as less so because of over-exposure.....but if we could possibly go back and read the Gospels with new eyes, we would find Christ, God, everything about all of it is compelling....drawing us into His story.
"None can mock...this king we worship shamelessly."
Okay, maybe this is true for some....but I think not. I think we daily mock God with our lives. At least I do. And I'm more ashamed to worship him than not. Which isn't a good thing, considering I am in this crazy thing called "Christian ministry" ...something that just messes with your walk with God anyway...if you let it, and I often do. Sure, ideally, I would love to say I can't mock him...that I worship him shamelessly. But its not true.
"...you leave all the trappings of self outside."
Bullcrap. I'm so terribly wrapped up in myself, its pathetic. I realize this more and more these days. Even my relationship with God has turned into this whole other attempt at making myself happy. Sure, I sit on the sidelines and point fingers at those who preach the " prosperity gospel", but its a "gospel" that I live, whether I'd like to admit it or not. I do believe that God enjoys giving us gifts. But he desires to give us the best....and that doesn't always mean we're always happy, or always making money, or even leading an easy life. Many times, its none of the above. But I tend to forget that. And I get pissed off when things don't go my way.
Even this blog. Much of the time I write because I want people to agree with me and tell me that I'm such a great writer or that I'm their favorite blogger...or whatever. I write because....well, if I didn't, I would go crazy. But when I write for others to read it....I like praise. Who am I kidding?
I think that one of the major bummers in the life of a Christian comes when they realize that these things the poem talks about...selflessness...or, perfection, really....we can't do it. We're taught that we'll be better. C.S Lewis once said that becoming a Christian actually makes a person much worse. I think what he meant is that we realize how terrible we really are.
And its once we realize this depravity, and come to grips with the fact that we can do nothing about it on our own, but let God work and mould us into the shape of his heart....that's when we can finally start waking up in the mornings without hating ourselves.
Friday, July 04, 2003
Hey look, Matt made it work. Again. :)
Tuesday, July 01, 2003
CRAP! CAN SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED TO MY BLOG? AGAIN?!!!!!!!!!
Sorry I haven't been posting. Its been a combination of not having much computer time, but also...just generally taking a brain break. So I don't like to write when I don't have things to say. Which is, however, rare. Maybe I've just had TOO much to say, though.
Its weird being back. But good. Mostly.
In Atlanta, one of the first things I did was go to a Braves game...which was totally insane, because it was soooo very....AMERICAN. What? No cricket? No rugby? no....SOCCER?! Hot dogs and beer and sweaty dudes and the crack of the bat and the smells of summer.....
By the way, the whole of America...it smells different than Scotland. I can't explain it.
It was so awesome really. We got blessed with $45 dugout seats (whoo hoo!) , me and 3 non-American girls. I spent my time explaining who the first base coach was and what an RBI was. Fab. I just soaked in every second of it.
Second day in Atlanta my friend Jeanie came over from Alabama, which was awesome. We had loads of fun....did the touristy things like go to the Underground and the World of Coke. Almost threw up because of the completion of our mission to try every single kind of Coke product we could sample. By the way, stay away from the Italian stuff, that is NASTY.
Was in St Louis a day....got my bearings back as far as driving was concerned, and grabbed some sweet, sweet Taco Bell. I sat at a Waffle House and wrote and read. Stunning....I think heaven is a Waffle House.
Saturday I split between Grandma and Grandpa and my best friend Booker. Booker and I went to the lake to smoke cigars after he was off work (Joe's Crab Shack) at 1am, til it was late enough to go TPing.
Yes. I'm 21 years old. Booker is 23. We went TPing.
I must explain that our friends Micah and Anne who got married last year just bought a house. It needed some "decoration" shall we say. Besides, the dude who we got....he's done some SERIOUS TP damage in his day. Micah and Booker once TPed my BEDROOM when we were all in high school. (Yes, my parents actually let them in to do it. My mom actually used to DRIVE us to go rolling, it was great.) Anyway....we got em GOOOOOOD. As soon as the pics are available, I'll post em. (Along with pics from the Braves game and me and Jeanie.) But they still don't know it was us....so don't tell.
Yesterday I went to my church I missed SO much all year, it was great. And then I spent the day with my friends Wendi and Whitney. I can never decide if being friends with them makes me feel old (they're 27.....which doesn't mean much, becuase 3 of my close friends are over 30....but Wendi is married....ya know? I dunno....) or young. But I love em.
Today wasn't such a good day. My family is just screwed up. I can't really take it anymore, so whatever. Duck in water these days. I didn't come from Scotland to have a crap time, so I refuse to.
But in between the crap, I went to Starbucks, met a way cool (married) guy. It was cool because....well I'll save that for tommorrow, but he's cool. A definite blessing.
And I got a new book: "Blue Like Jazz". I'm only on chapter four and I love it. Its by Don Miller, the guy who wrote "Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance", whom some of you know is one of my FAVORITE books. (Some people have crushes on rock stars...I have crushes on authors and poets. Don Miller included. I was actually somewhat disappointed when I heard Dave Eggers got married...and he's not even a Christian. Not that I've ever met him. Go figure.) ANYWAY....aside from all non-sensical crushing, its a fantastic book....coming at the right time in my life, yet again. God has an amazing way of providing in that way.
Anyway....me thinks its time for some reading and sleeping...
P.S. Can't wait to see some of you guys this month!!!!!