Sunday, November 30, 2003

Love is Blind?

I hope that Jonathan doesn't mind, but I'm gonna just post part of his post from the other day. Because...I liked it.

On my bus, which is of course full of blind kids, there are two students that are "going out." (Where do they go? I don't know, but that's what they say.) And the boy sits in the seat behind the girl and I look up in my mirror and see him leaning forward and her turning around all the time. And they are holding hands a lot.

This is fascinating to me. To not see someone and yet have feelings for them. Now, of course, I want to love someone for their inner beauty, and I think I try, but because I can see, I have an image of "the perfect girl" in my mind. And even if I was to gouge my eyes out or lose my vision for some other reason, because I have seen, I would still have this image, and I would be able to visualize different women in my head.

But, if I was never to have seen a model or a picture of a "beautiful" woman, then I would have no idea what a "beautiful" woman looks like.

I hope I am making sense. So, I think that my love for someone could be more pure, since I wouldn't be hung up with appearance.

Of course, I haven't asked a blind person what they think about this. Also, what's funny is that I can be talking with one of the guys at the school and a girl might come up and talk with him and after she leaves, he will ask me if she is fine or not. I say, "Why does it matter, you can't see her?" But, that doesn't always go over well.


Michaela @2:31 AM :: Comment

Saturday, November 29, 2003

At Your Service....

In my continuing quest to make this blog a better place for all of us, I've add a "Reader's Recommended Links" page at the bottom of my normal links. This is where you come in. If you have some great links (either your site or just ones you like) that you want to add, please do. (Right now, its a bit.... well, nekkid, if you will.) And if you post anything stupid, I'll just delete it, so let's not do that kids, okay? Great.

I'm glad we had this talk.


Michaela @2:58 AM :: Comment

Friday, November 28, 2003

Look, I did it for a friend, okay?!

So my friend Paul at college decided he was going to put his photo up on "Hot or Not". So now, our whole class at ICC has been spending lunch times in the YM computer room, on this site. Except me of course. But Paul talked me into it. He even picked the photo. Yes, I caved.

But hey, I seem to be doing well. In the end though, no matter how high you're rated, you can't get over the fact there's still a good amount of 1-5 votes there!!

Anyway, I suppose this is more of a confession than anything else. Yes, my photo is on the site.

I know this makes me a horrible, terrible, shallow person.

I'm sorry.

Now, go vote me as a Ten!!!! :)

- Michaela

P.S. I don't actually look like that anymore. I chopped off all my hair.

P.P.S. I'm pretty sure the votes cannot be true anyway. A guy I voted as a "1" was a freaking 7.5. There are some terribly ugly people who have pretty good scores. That or they are just voting for themselves...over and over and over.... Not that this is a really bad thing. Hooray for boosting the egos of ugly people!


Michaela @10:58 PM :: Comment


Apparently, I am the first on the list if you search for "bling women" on Google.

I find this hysterical.


Michaela @4:14 PM :: Comment

Thursday, November 27, 2003

I know this post is too long.

Only THREE weeks til I go HOME. Less than, actually. 2 and a half weeks now. I’ve only been away for a few weeks, but I definitely am ready to go home….

So here’s the Michaela update, because I haven’t really given you all one in a while.

In a lot of ways, things are really good. But in other ways, I feel like I’m still struggling with the whole thing….

The Issues:

1) My work. I like it, I do. I love teenagers, I love working with them. And I know that no job is perfect. But I think its just hit that “frustration point”. I feel somewhat scared of my boss…he treats me like I’m a child, simply because I’m a college student. Part of the issue is that we think and work very differently. He is a detailer, I am a “big picture” girl. In many ways, that’s great, because I’m pretty bad at remember small things that do need to be remembered. But some things are just insane. Added paperwork is silly. There is NO reason to ask for my drug policy manual to be written by Wednesday when it doesn’t even need to go before the committee til next week. NO reason. And when I do make mistakes…even the smallest ones…I feel belittled. And that’s not a good thing. But then its something that I do need to deal with, and talk to my supervisor (and college tutor) about, instead of continuing to complain. I know this.

In addition….the job is very much in a rut. I’d love to put new things into place, but I have no time to do so. I’m dealing with a group of kids who, generally, are completely happy with going to youth group and playing hockey and pool and doing a Bible Study that will in no way challenge them. (If it might challenge them, they just clam up and don’t discuss it.) When I try to do extra things with them, its met with half-hearted enthusiasm. They aren’t all like that, but the majority are. They are church kids, they’ve been raised in church, they know what they think youth group should be.

I struggle because I know they need discipleship. I know that despite 14+ years in the church, they actually know very little about their faith or the Bible or God. But they don’t care. You cannot cannot really disciple people who don’t want to be. You cannot force-feed. All I can do about that is pray. (Well that’s all I can do about a LOT of these things. You’ll see a pattern.)

I struggle because I don’t think my job should be a one person job. Not because of the amount of work, but because I think it lacks a level of support – or at least the level of support this single girl needs. And to their credit, they have tried: my prayer support group, individuals, etc. Its not their fault, its just how things are.


2) College. I really do wish I would have done a straight Theology degree instead of the Youth Min program. Not that I don’t want to be in youth min, its just that…the program probably lacks in a lot of ways. I’m not a very good advert for ICC at the moment, I know. Its not that their program is BAD, it just lacks for me personally I think. I love and adore my theology classes. I really don’t like the youth min classes. I think that in a lot of ways its not something that can really be broken down into classes, if that makes sense. I think it’s an “on-the-job” learning issue.
And I cannot switch to the theology degree, or I will lose my placement job, and will have no way to pay my living expenses. But in having both the placement and college classes to work with…I feel like both get jacked, because I cannot put ALL my energy into one or the other. I really do wish I could have just devoted my time to studies and classes. Honestly.

3) People. Yesterday I had a conversation with my friend Colin at college (who also wishes he would have taken the Theology course instead of YMin) about culture, living out of your home culture and all that. Now, Colin and I chat sometimes, but its not like we have major heart-to-hearts. But he knows the basics, about how I almost didn’t come back this year. So he asks me: “Did you feel better about yourself when you were back home, or when you’re here?” I’d not really thought about it before, but I ended up answering back home. Why? The same reason I’ve blogged about before: when it comes down to it, there are a lot of people here who really like me, but there is no one that *really* loves me. And that affects a person. Colin nodded, and said he totally could understand that. Then he goes on: “So the question must be asked….what about coming back for Year Three?” Well this was the first time someone has asked me that. I had to honestly say I didn’t know. I feel like I’m at the same place I was last summer, which is dangerous, considering I’m about to go home again. I miss family. I miss being with people I know really love me.

At this moment, I feel like there are only two reasons I’m here: 1) I want to get a degree. Leaving now would mean pretty much starting over elsewhere. And 2) I know God wants me to. My issues? : 1) Is “getting a degree” a good enough reason to stay? I mean honestly, its only a year and a half til I can graduate. 18 months. That’s not forever. But 2) I know God wants me here this year, but I’m not convinced yet about next year.

And I miss writing and having time to be creative.

And don’t even get me started on the fact there is an amazing guy in Australia that I’d quite like to be nearer to.

The Conclusion? I don’t know yet. God’s been faithful (as shown last summer) to reveal to me absolutely where he wants me to be, when. And I’m sure he will. Its simply the waiting that gets to me. I need to learn to be content with not knowing about tomorrow, to be okay with not having plans “just so”. Its been said much that the Bible says “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet”….its not a sun, lighting up the whole way. Keep walking, and you’ll find out where you’re going as you go.

And so, I’ll just keep praying. I’ve still got 6 months of this year at college left, and that’s a good amount of time to figure out what’s going on. I’ll let you know.

Blessings,
Michaela

P.S. Hey, thanks guys...NO ONE mentioned that my blog wasn't posting archives! No fear - I've remedied that. And Jenn, I took your advice and swapped it to monthly archives. :)


Michaela @12:03 AM :: Comment

Monday, November 24, 2003

Another day...


...another chance to listen to your co-workers pee in the bathroom behind your desk.




Michaela @5:12 PM :: Comment

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Go To Bed.

Okay so I was planning on posting an audio post (thank you AudBlog) but I've realized its freaking 5am and I'm too cranky to do so. So to save that one trial AudBlog and make something better out of it, tommorrow I shall do that. You can look forward to that.
Today you all have the assignment of filling this out for me and placing it in my comments. Its Meg's fault, it was her idea.

You'll all thank me one day.

Go on:

01: what is your first memory of me:
02: how long have we been friends:
03: tell about one memory we share together:
04: describe me in four adjectives:
05: if we could spend a day together what would we do:
06: name one thing you really don't like about me:
07: name one thing you really do like about me:
08: if you could give me a gift what would it be:
09: have we ever gotten in a fight & about what:
10: have we ever hugged:
11: have we ever hung out with just the two of us?:
12: have you ever seen me cry:
13: have i ever offended you:
14: what is something embarrassing that i've done:
15: what do i usually look like when you see me:
16: what do i say all the time\whats my catch phrase:
17: do you think we will be friends in 5 years:
18: has there been anything you wanted to tell me, but didn't:
19: what advice would you give me, in general:
20: suggest a band / cd for me to listen to:
21: is there a song that reminds you of me:

Have fun.


Michaela @5:17 AM :: Comment

Friday, November 21, 2003

Does this come in blue?

SO...
My friend Mark came to visit last weekend and we had a grand ol time. He's stuck in poor Athens, Greece, so he kept saying something about being thankful to be back "in civilization". He was only in Friday night to Sunday morning, so we didn't have loads of time to do stuff, but we did visit the Castle and the Royal Mile. Thought you guys might like to live vicariously through Mark's photos. You should see his camera. I was afraid I was going to break in because of my drooling on it. Oh, and in other breaking news, my camera broke that day, too. It made some funky noise then stopper. Umm. Yeah. Uncool, especially since it wasn't a cheap camera.

So, without any further do-do....


[I took this photo a while ago actually, from the bus...which accounts for my reflection. But I thought you'd want to know that the castle sorta looked like. Its a big place, took us a few hours to wander around...]


[Princes Street, Princes Street Gardens, The National Gallery, etc, etc, all in the "The New Town", which is a couple hundred years old...in front of the waters of The Forth...]



[The Hub, on The Royal Mile]


["Mark, did you just take a picture of me?" "Yes, I did." "Sneaky, you are."]


[St. Margarets Chapel, the oldest building in the Castle complex, dating from the 1100's...]



[All good rmfo.net weekends must include with a little cake...]




Michaela @2:25 AM :: Comment

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

You know those days when you feel like your every fault is highlighted and everything good you've done forgotten? That was my day at work today.

:(


Michaela @12:59 AM :: Comment

Monday, November 17, 2003

One Thing…No, Two.


One:

Tonite, I was watching Amelie. In the opening credits, there’s scene where Amelie as a little girl puts glue on her hand, and then waits for it to dry, and peels it off. I exclaimed to Ruth (who was watching it with me): “ I totally remember doing that!” For whatever reason, my next thought was:

When did I stop doing that?

When was the very last time I smeared glue on my hand, just to peel it off and look at my own fingerprints?

For that matter, when did I stop doing all the rest of those kid things?

There are some things I still do. I still bite my fingernails. I still hit my alarm 18 times in the morning. I still can’t manage to keep two feet on the ground while sitting…one must be on a chair or propped up on a stool or table, or bouncing while my legs are crossed. I still would rather take showers at night than in the morning. I still love the smells of fresh-cut grass in the summer, and burning leaves in autumn.

But when did the rest of it stop? When was the last day for all those other things? And why was it the last? Monumental days, in a way, with very little fanfare.

When was the last time I bought a Baby-sitters Club Book?

When did I stop taping gymnastic competitions on TV, and practicing my cartwheels in the front lawn?

When was the last time I played “House”?

When did I stop wearing my bangs (aka fringe) up, as was popular then?

When did I stop asking Mom to read me a story? (Usually “De Tar Baby”, in the Disney Storybook.)

When was the last day I played with a Barbie doll? What about the baby doll?

When was the last time I wrapped my wrist in tape, prending I had broken it in some very important sporting event?

When did I stop wanting to be the first female player in the NBA?

When did I stop wanting to be the first female player in MLB?

When did I grow up?

Two:

If you’ve not yet seen Amelie, you should. It’s a stunning movie. People have been telling me for over a year that I need to see it, and they are right. Every single scene is incredibly beautiful. (Its also funny, which is always a plus.) Not to ruin it for you, but there’s this scene where “the kiss” is not simply your run-of-the-mill movie kiss, blah blah: it’s a series of kisses: the corner of her mouth, side of her neck and the corner of her closed eye. It was breathtaking in its originality and sheer…beauty. Apparently it’s the #1 French movie ever (trust me, you won’t even mind the subtitles…don’t get the dubbed version, get the subtitles), and I now know why.

That’s all for today.


Michaela @1:21 AM :: Comment

Saturday, November 15, 2003

17 Years....




Michaela @4:21 AM :: Comment

Friday, November 14, 2003

Cheeky Monkey!

So, my very cool friend Brian did a very cool thing and drew a cartoon version of me. I must admit, I was *shocked*. Not that I ever doubted Brian's talent, but ...dang! It actually looks like me! Well, me doing a "Blue Steel" and with longer hair (he took it from a pic in which I had longer hair...), but...DANG! Now I only wish I could be that *HOT* in real life....





Michaela @12:49 AM :: Comment

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Jack of All Trades

I speak....German!


I speak....Italian!!


I speak....Portuguese! (I think. Is that right, Coqui?)


I speak.....Australian!


Everytime I look at myself.....I can't believe how awesome I am....




Michaela @1:55 AM :: Comment

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Blessings and Grace
(Subtitled: "I have no idea why God still blesses me when I'm a moron", Vol. 1.)

Sometimes, days come along and I am absolutely overwhelmed by the abundance of love and mercy and grace the Lord has for me, overwhelmed by the blessings He gives.

I slept in today. I woke up after a restless night to my cell phone ringing, after Noon. It was Anne. Anne is about 65 years old, and I love her to bits. She was a missionary to Nigeria for 35 years, and had to come home due to a heart condition for surgery, and she goes to one of the churches I work for. Sheila, my supervisor, got us in contact because Anne is a great supporter of OM and the ships, and we could swap missionary stories. Til today, I'd not had much of a chance to speak with her more than short conversations. She asked if I would speak at Dalkeith Baptist, the other church she attends (she'd been supported by both churches while on the mission field), about both my time on the Doulos and about the Youth Project. She said she'd love if I stopped by for lunch before speaking at the mission meeting at 2pm.


That meeting was today.

I was supposed to be at her house at 12:30.

Yes, I am a complete and utter moron.

I really am bad about those things. I forget things all the time. I even had it written in my day planner, and thought to myself there was SOMETHING I had to do on Monday, but FORGOT TO LOOK IN MY DAY PLANNER! Of course I was freaking out. She'd only called to let me know how to get to her house. I was still in my pajamas. I was calm and cool on the phone, admitting I'd completely forgotten and would be there as fast as possible. I hung up the phone, grab my things to shower....only to find that my flatmate Dave was in the bathroom. NOOO! I was still standing in the hall freaking out, when Ruth my Flatmate Sent From Heaven (I'm not joking....this girl is SUCH a blessing to me) came out and asked what was wrong. I told her and she says: "Oh hun! Can I get you a coffee?"

At times like those, just the littlest things, like an offer for a cup of coffee made just as you like it, means the world.

I got out the door and the entire (rather long) walk to the bus stop I was beating myself up over the whole thing. I really thought to myself that I couldn't imagine why God would call me to be in this job, since I do things like completely forget important meetings, and just generally tend to screw things up. In between beating myself I prayed that God would somehow get me there on time.

Anne had told me that her friend was picking us up at 1:20. When that time was coming up and I was still on the bus getting there, I decided I had to phone Anne again. I phoned her and told her I was still on the bus, and apologized over and over again. And in her sweet old lady voice she says: "Don't worry dear. Just keep praying!"

I hung up the phone and nearly cried at her statement. She was right. How dare I worry? Yes, I screwed up, but God is in the business of fixing those things and those people who are screwed up. From that moment on, my day was completely wonderful.

No, we didn't make it to the church on time, but we weren't terribly late...they had only sung two songs when we arrived. I give major props to Anne's friend Doreen, who got us there faster than I probably could have...not only is she the best driver I know over the age of 60, she's one of the best drivers I know, full stop! We did have a laugh getting there. Anne also had her friend Megan there from Wales, whom she'd been a missionary with in Nigeria, and they'd been friends for years. Megan is Anne's age or older, and a tiny thing who can either burst into song or fall right asleep at any given moment. All three of them were a hilarious bunch.

At the church I spoke for about 30 minutes or so about the Doulos and about the youth project. With the exception of one man who kept falling asleep, and one man with a burping issue, all went really well. There were about 50 people there, all quite old, all very lovely. (I love old people, I think if I weren't going into youth ministry, I'd want to go into old folk ministry!) Anne introduced me and spoke a few minutes before me. That woman is a prayer warrior, and a missionary through and through. She's somewhat frail, but the minute she stood up, it was like I was looking at a different woman. She just lets Jesus flow from her life so freely.

After the talk, we all sat at tables for a cup of tea and chat. I loved it. Lots of them asked me questions, and just wanted to know more about me. One little man ( and when I say little...he actually was either a midget or dwarf...I'm not sure the difference!) kept speaking to me and I honestly couldn't understand a word he was saying. But he was indeed adorable. While speaking to him (or trying to anyway), a woman came up to me that I hadn't even spoken to yet, slips an envelope in my hands and says "For your expenses, dear." And walks away. I was stunned. Later in the restroom, I look in and there sat a 10 pound note! Considering that is the current total of my bank account, needless to say I was so grateful for it.

Speaking to another lady, she thanked me over and over again: "I could hear every word you said, and that makes such a difference! I can't hear very well." I said I was glad she could... "Sometimes I just feel like a nuisance!" she says. "Oh no!" I said. "I don't think you are a nuisance at all! I'm glad you came!" Her friend next to her, a lovely Christian lady says: "Oh she doesn't really think that...she just likes saying that word...nuisance!" To which we all burst into laughter, including her friend who couldn't hear well.

Sometimes, old people remind me so much of young people, its astonishing.

Doreen drove me, Anne, and Megan back to Anne's house (albiet a bit slower than before!), where Anne served me the sandwiches and soup and muffins that I'd missed out on before, sitting around her fireplace. For a couple hours I just asked Anne about her life and listened to her stories about Nigeria. She asked me if I'd read "The Heavenly Man" (which you can get here), which I'd heard much about and hadn't gotten to read yet, but told her I really wanted to. She told her about her "family" she lives with in Nigeria, about her parents and when they passes away, and how her father was in the war, and was a blacksmith...how she would have liked to have gotten married and had a family, but learned to accept that it was just God's will for her to stay single, so that's what she did. We compared stories of our times in Singapore ("Did you ever try durian [a very interesting fruit of the area]?" "Yes! Dreadful stuff!"), Thailand ("Amazing people there, so very sweet..." "And the food is so great!") and such. She said how much she misses the heat of Nigeria, and the food...how the food is so bland here, and she'd have added red pepper to my tomato soup, but she wasn't sure if I'd like it...!

During most of this, Megan was fast asleep in the lounge chair, snoring loudly. I thought it added nicely to the atmosphere!

Around dinnertime I finally had to go, as I needed to get ready for Tea in the Park (a detatched youthwork deal we do on Mondays with the Project), and get some work done. As I'm saying goodbye, Anne slips up out of sight. Megan (keep in mind...I only met Megan today) reaches into her purse and says: "For your birthday dear, use it as you like!" Again, it was another ten. Twenty pounds, just from the graciousness of strangers.

Walking out the door, Anne hands me a new copy of "The Heavenly Man" to borrow and read. More blessings! She gave me the leftover sandwiches as well.

She asked me to drop by anytime. Course most people say that and don't really mean it. I said I'd be sure and phone her if I did.
"Oh no, dear...." she said. "That's one of the things I miss about the Nigerian culture, people just pop around to see you, anytime night or day, you never know when!"
So I said I'd be sure and pop in without warning, just to help her to feel more at home.

Walking down from her house to my office down the road I was completely overwhelmed, not just with the blessings of today, but with SO many blessings I've recieved lately.

Today I was given twenty pounds. As I said, I literally only had another 10 in my bank account, and I have 5 days til payday. I know I'd never go hungry (not as long as I'm living with Ruth), but it was stressful. I'm sure that 20 is probably just enought for me to get by these next few days. Perfect.

Ruth, my flatmate, is a blessing to me every single day. She surprises me with a little gift she bought at Boots for me. She'll make me a cup of tea just as she knows I take it, just because she can. She does my dishes even if I was about to do them, just as a blessing, never complaining. And that's just the tip of the iceburg...that girl does awesome things for me every day.

Recently, I was blessed with a brand-new laptop, by a man I hardly know. He said he just felt the Lord asking him to bless me in this way, and he didn't want anything for it, he was just obeying. Brand-new, stunning Dell, with all the fixins. I really did get teary at that one.

Again, a few months ago, I was trying to get back to Scotland...but my family couldn't afford the $700 plane ticket just to get me back here. So I prayed. Only a few days later, a good friend offered to pay it, free and clear.

Every single day, I have friends far and near telling me how much they love and care for me. And they mean it. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have friends like that. In fact, most of last year I didn't even have many of those friends around. And now, every single day I'm so encouraged.

Its amazing, that the Lord chooses to bless us, and let us feel His love through the love of other people, even when we are moronic, such as I. It humbles me so much. I don't pray enough. I never set aside enough time with God. I don't love people well enough, or thouroughly enough.

Yet God does what He does best. He loves me. And I know that with every fibre of my being.

I pray the Lord is blessing you all as well....so much.

Love,
Michaela.




Michaela @1:46 AM :: Comment

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Darren at The Living Room ran across the Church Sign Generator. Classic. I don't think I can beat his though, no matter how hard I try. I'm pretty sure it would increase church attendance and baptisms by 100 fold at least.

The best part is that its a Baptist church, too.

Oh the irony.





Michaela @2:16 AM :: Comment


**WARNING: Matrix Spoilers!!!!!**

So yeah. I just got back from the movies seeing Matrix Revolutions with my friend Marian for my birthday. And yes, just Marian, because the rest of my friends bailed on me, and yes that hurt my feelings but I suppose that's another story. Most of them had good reason.

ANYHOO.....


A few thoughts:

I really liked the movie, don't get me wrong. But anyone else think that it was just LAYERED in cheese and cliche?!

"I can do it, sir!"

"How...can....it ....be....?"

Don't even get me started on Agent Smith's "evil laugh" in the Oracle's house. I immediately thought of Pheobe and Joey's "evil laugh" episode from Friends. I actually laughed.

And the Transformer dudes that fought the sentinels. It just got funny. This is why I love going with Marian (who is, in fact, awesome) to the movies. At that, we laugh together and she sings: "Robots in Disguise!"

And the end scene with the sun and the city...dude...it was like the city from The Little Mermaid or something, all glowing and happy...all color-by-number. Gag.

ANYWAY, all that aside, its still a cool flick.

I still don't really understand the Oracle and her role in the deal, which drives me nuts. I have a hard time understanding how she could be created by the Architect, yet in the end, the Architect seems to be under her control....hmmm...

I think its sweet-ass how much more into the Christ analogy the whole thing goes. It was starting to waiver with Reloaded, I thought....I thought it was interesting how Neo had to let Smith win....just as how Christ had to "take on" sin....Satan temporarily thought he had won....to defeat sin. Neo had to die...Christ had to die.

And whats up with the little girl? I heard someone say that she's the programmer of the sun, and she wasn't needed because the Matrix was in total darkness when Agent Smith was in charge...but I don't quite buy that.

That said....my absolute favorite part was when Trinty and Neo shoot above the clouds in the Machine City, and you can just get a glimpse of the beauty that is above it all....the sun and the moon. That was just amazing.

In other news, its my birthday. Yay! And I was called at 12.01 by a special someone. That totally made my day. :)

And...that's all for now.


Michaela @1:22 AM :: Comment

Thursday, November 06, 2003

We're in the big leagues now....


Yeah, soooo.....The MTV Europe Awards are coming to Edinburgh tommorrow. Or, actually, they are already here. They've been setting up the huge stage in the Princes Street Gardens near the castle for the free concert to be held in conjunction with the Awards at the Ocean Terminal Arena . Its craziness. My bus mozied (is that how you spell that? "To mosy" "mosy?" Can any of you Southerners help me out here?) on down Princes Street today, down the North Bridge andpast the Balmoral Hotel. Now, apparently, the Balmoral is where all the big stars are staying. Yes, even J-Lo. They had barricades set up to keep back the crowds (not huge tonite, but substantial) and police and security keeping an eye on things.

Celebrity is a strange thing.

So, tonite, I am relatively sure that my little city is home to Pink, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Bennifer, Michael Stipe, Minnie Driver, The White Stripes, Beyonce (with the little thingy over the top of the "e") The Flaming Lips, Jane's Addiction, Travis...and a host of other celebrity acts. (Though apparently Britney decided to bail, due to the ever-popular "exaustion"...anyone else feel extremely UNimpressed by that idea? People are paying $1200 for tickets to this sucker -- 1000 free ones were given away....and sold out in 12 minutes) Christina Aguilera is the HOST for crying out loud. (What the heck? Who made THAT call?!)

So I was thinking there, on the bus.....why am I so enamoured with it all?

I'm not THAT enamoured, I'll have you know. Don't get worried. I briefly thought about getting off the bus a stop early just to see who the crowd was waiting for at the Balmoral, but decided against it. And no, I'm not actually going to the concert in the Gardens tommorrow night. (Beyonce, Pink, The Flaming Lips and Jane's Addiction...no. If we were talking Dave Matthews Band or Counting Crows THEN I might make the 20 minute walk down the street to the gardens. Come to think of it...I wonder if I'll be able to hear it from my flat? Its only about a mile away....)

I think the reason its a big deal is that its something like THIS that makes me realize I actually live in a "big league" city. I am, in fact, an urbanite.

I've never been an inhabitant of such a city before. You'll never hear of an MTV Awards in either Kansas City or St Louis, despite the fact that they aren't that much smaller in population than Edinburgh. But its just different in the UK I guess. I mean, its the CAPITAL of Scotland. I live in a CAPITAL. How bizarre is that? Not only do I live in such a city...I live in the very HEART of it....a mile from the beautiful city centre.

Madness, I tell you. Sheer madness.

Anyhoo, I don't have MTV here. I might attempt to watch it on the webcast. (You all are welcome to as well.) The site and link can be found at www.mtv.co.uk.

In other news...if I do watch it, I'll be watching it on my brand-new Dell Inspiron laptop. I was blessed with one by a very generous person. Thank you....

And in OTHER other news....

MY BIRTHDAY is SUNDAY!

I know your next question: "Michaela....I would love to get you something for your birthday....what can I get as a gift for you?"

To answer this question, I direct you here:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/registry/GDIAQYWC7FCF/026-7429155-8540460

:)

Blessings,
Michaela


Michaela @1:28 AM :: Comment

Saturday, November 01, 2003

I Will Follow...



On Thursday, in my Professional Ethics class, the lecturer spoke about the group of followers of Jesus - not the 12 disciples, who were really his best friends, but the larger group of followers, which included women. As if Jesus wasn't controversial enough, he had to go and let women hang around him. In the Jewish culture of the time, this was insane.

But it got me thinking...

Can you imagine what it would have been like to have followed Jesus around? There's much to say that until after the resurrection, even the disciples didn't really know the implications of it all...what Jesus actually meant to the world. The Dudes weren't the smartest bunch, really. They were a bunch of fisherman, among other things. Jesus told them he'd rise 3 days after he would die...yet the guys didn't really catch on to this. But all that is to say...I don't think any of the "wider circle" of followers really knew what was going on either. They knew this man was the Messiah, sure. I'm not sure they knew exactly what this meant.

What would it have been like to have been a woman following Jesus around?

I think she'd have simply known she was attracted to this man unlike any other man...and not in the same way. She wasn't attracted to him physically - he was quite average looking - but spiritually. His whole essence somehow satisfied her. She couldn't get enough of his words, not because of the sound of his voice, but because of the words he actually spoke. She kept wanting to touch him...not to get some sort of cheap thrill, but simply because he not only loved her, but he was, in fact, Love. Love in human flesh.

She loved him and followed him because she knew that no man could love her the way this man named Jesus loved her.

Purely, unconditionally, and passionately.

I think that if I could actually be anyone in history, it would have been one of those women. To be able to actually see God in the flesh, walking the earth... To be able to see a Jesus uncoloured by years of history and tradition and church, but to see first-hand his passion.

I forget so often that the same Jesus is the Jesus I follow. It's difficult, because the words - His amazing words - get repeated over and over, and I think that I know who this Jesus guy was. It's like a marriage that gets too familiar, so when one says "I love you", its not the same as it might have been years ago. It's not that you don't know you are loved, it just lacks the punch it might have once had...

But sometimes,with a little - or a lot - of hard work, even discipline in the relationship, the words and the relationship develop a sweetness that the first "punch" didn't have. And perhaps, years into our relationship with Christ, that relationship can have that sweetness. Maybe - no, certainly - I might even have the advantage here, over the women that were privileged enough to follow Jesus. I know who he is. I know what he means to this world. And while the "honeymoon" phase may be over, there is a sweetness left, a familiarity that remains.

I love him, even though sometimes I don't like him very much.


Michaela @2:40 PM :: Comment


I'm sad.

I know I was meaning to write about June and Johnny.

But I found out last night that Mike Yaconelli died late Wed night, in a car accident.

Most of you probably don't know who he is. Mike was a great author (he wrote "Messy Spritiuality" and "Dangerous Wonder"), and the founder of Youth Specialties, one of the foremost youth ministries in the States. He was a pretty amazing guy. I was supposed to see him speak in September at the Church of Scotland Youth Assembly. I didn't need to be there as a rep, but the C of S youth advisor is one of my college tutors, so through a series of emails, he said he's save me a spot, just so I could hear him speak. I was really excited about it, and I was bummed out when I realized I couldn't make it back to Dundee due to the whole college mess this summer. I actually remember thinking to myself "I'm sure I'll have another chance - probably several more - to hear him speak."

I guess not.

Or, I suppose I will....just not as soon as I would have hoped.

Please remember to pray, if you can, for both Mike's family and for the ministry of Youth Specialties. Many staff members are having to move out of their homes, and/or are actually losing homes to the fires in California right now, too.

For more info on Mike and Youth Specialties, you can go to: www.youthspecialties.com
Blessings,
Michaela


Michaela @12:37 AM :: Comment



"In the city you will find that the poor and the broken are often much, much more open to the idea of Gospel grace and much more dedicated to its practical outworkings than you are." (Tim Keller)

"Always On Your Side" by Sheryl Crow