Monday, February 27, 2006

the mbta game

the mbta (or the "t" as we locals call it) is never a boring place. most of the time everyone on board works hard to ignore one another, no matter if everyone is squished together or not. most everyone plays the game of looking at one another but never making eye contact. it's actually quite fun to people-watch like that. anyway, the ignoring-watching game gets messed up when people break the rules. those people are generally children and once in a while the assorted freak. (one time there was a guy on the orange line that seemed to be gesticulating and responding to a person the rest of the world couldn't see. it looked like miming, but he was more likely mentally ill or high on something...)

my last few experiences on the t have been more remarkable than usual. on recent trips i've watched elderly twin women dressed exactly alike, a poorly made-up transvestite who appeared to be scared of his own shadow, and witnessed a near-brawl when a punk chick got pissed off after a group of theater players decided to break into song. three times. (that was actually the same night as the tranny-sighting) i digress...

the t is the melting pot of this city. almost everyone rides it. all you need is $1.25 and somewhere to go. i've sat with people of all ages, races, ethnic origins, religions, political leanings, and educational levels. it's a pretty cool thing. so i try not to tune out when i'm there, even though i'm listening to mp3s and playing sudoku. i still can hear and learn from watching the people of my city. that's why Jesus went to the city gates and the markets. it's where the people were. His advantage was He knew everything about those people--i'm still a student and i'm thankful for the t being such a willing teacher.

sometimes the t can provide moments of solace. last sunday night, i was rolling my way back from the church public, when i looked up to realize i had the whole car to myself. i was listening to chris tomlin and the desire to sing over that car just welled up inside me. so i did. i wasn't scared about anyone hearing me or what i sounded like. it was just me and the music and the roaring of the car on the tracks. what a cool way to worship!

Friday, February 24, 2006

i love getting mail!

thanks to the glory that is ebay, i was able to purchase a cut-rate set of magnetic poetry to grace my fridge. i added it to a set my credit card company sent as a thank you (very odd little thing to get in the mail...). the one i bought from ebay was a 'christian' version, which at first made me a little wary. i didn't want a set of all thees and thous! (there's only one thy and that's all!) i spent an inordinate amount of time playing around with the words after i opened the package. it turned into an awesome worship experience, which is pretty dang cool. i guess that's what dwelling on the majesty of God should be--taking time to ponder the words He created and somehow use them to describe Him. it was totally cool and i highly suggest it to anyone! i'm posting some pics of my praises...i'd love for there to be a cool website somewhere where people could write magnetic poetry-type things to describe God. what a stinkin cool way to collectively praise Him who is worthy of all praise! anyway, just a thought. :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Feet behind doctrine

Being a witness at work during the most crazy day yet isn't a 'sexy' ministry. I don't know if I was very successful at it either. I had to work really hard to be self-sacrificing. I didn't choose to do the things I had to do today. I didn't choose to be gracious to my coworkers, but by the grace of God, I think I did that. I had stress written all over my face (despite my best efforts to mask it) but I made it though the day. It's no coincidence that God and I were chatting this morning about my witness at work, or that I began reading I Timothy. My prayer for tomorrow is not that it will be better, but that Christ's footprint in me would be that much more clear to everyone around.

Cool pix from a church-turned-music building on Harvard's campus

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A busy weekend that bred some thoughts

I did more in the last 4 days than I've done since Passion06. CCPC training Friday night. Cleaning and laundry Saturday morning. Four hours of training residential staff Saturday afternoon. More cleaning and prep for Gabby and Eric's arrival Saturday night. Quincy Market for lunch on Sunday. Vision casting and meeting at The Church Public the rest of Sunday. Adventuring around Harvard Square on Monday afternoon. Ikea with Gabby on Monday night. Wow. It was tiring just typing that...but I had a good time and got to eat some good food. Why is it that good times are always paired with good food?

I digress. Vision casting for our church brought up things close to my heart...again. It was so great to hear out loud from others things that God has spoken to me and over me in the last few years. To hear about how He WILL capture Boston for His Glory. WOW. He's moving in this city. I can hear echoes of it. In a separated way, I hear how God is using Christians in other places to minister in 'non-traditional' ways that resonate with how we should minister here. I feel like those ideas are closer to be married to one another and that's so exciting. I've known since last summer that He's got something huge for this city. I can't deny the rich, deep heritage of the gospel in this place. There's already been talk about another great awakening beginning and I'm praying that that would truly be the case. Please join me in that plea!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

on the quest to scare myself...

i have officially decided to freak myself out by doing things outside my element. that process started over a year ago when i knew i was going to move back here boston. moving meant quitting my job, trusting God for financial support, faith to find a place to live, etc. for a while after i moved, life was under my control again, or so i thought. when i kept making my own decisions, i moved farther away from God and His purposes. i was living a mundane existence for my own enjoyment. and that was just plain lame. God revolutionized that thinking at passion06 (funny how passion has that effect on me) and showed me how He's been working by bringing me out of the comfortable places.

here's the latest 'scary' things:
i'm no longer standing behind other people at work--i'm fully responsible for 21 clinical cases, with more to come. i accepted an offer to teach a graduate level course in behavior analysis during the summer semester. i am a pivotal member of a church plant that's just getting it's feet wet. i joined eharmony and am starting to communicate with guys who i may eventually want to date. i'm looking into actually buying a condo here.

i know many of those things aren't scary to most people, but they are to me. in some ways i'm a walking contradiction--i want stability, but am scared to death of commitment. i think that might arise from the fear of being wrong or imperfect. anyway, making those commitments and sticking my neck out is good for me. it keeps me looking up and trusting God to order my steps. it reminds me that He is always in control and has my best interests in mind. and that's the most comforting place in the world.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Blizzard of '06

Here's my upstairs neighbor Ashley finishing up the shovelling in the driveway. After we finished it started snowing really hard again. I really have no idea how much snow we got since it's been blown around, but I think it's about 18 inches. Boston Public Schools already closed for tomorrow. If we have a snow day I still have to go to work or use my vacation time...lovely. Rosana and I have spent the day watching movies and relaxing. Bizarre how doing that on a normal day is OK, but when you CAN'T go anywhere, it totally drives you crazy. Hence me actually going outside and shovelling. :) Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

rough night...

So, I thought my house was going to blow up last night. Yes, it's true. I thought there was a natural gas leak, called the gas company, and eventually called 911. Four fire trucks showed up on my little street. It was insane! It was a bonding experience for my housemates (3 single ladies in their 20s & 30s) and I as we chatted and contemplated what was happening. It turned out to be no gas leak (despite the hideous odor that made me feel nauseated and light-headed) but rather a short in my boiler. Usually the safety won't allow the boiler to be on if there's no water in the system to heat. The safety shorted out and the boiler got so hot it melted a gauge. The end of it all was I had to stay in a motel last night (paid for by the landlord) since there was no heat. I stayed in the hotel on principle since the landlord hasn't fixed things she needs to--broken windows in my house and many other things in the housemates' apartments--and it's the law. It was quite a saga that's continuing. I'm sure I'll post about it again in a few days...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

a call to be more than light

Work was difficult today, with meeting after meeting wearing me down from busy work and negligible decisions to be made. I was pretty stressed out and unfed (as usual) when I caught myself walking down the hall with the most downcast, negative expression. Immediately I decided that to finish the day, I needed to move on with a brighter attitude.

Later on, I had the opportunity to meet with some of my staff, talking about work-related things and just chatting. It was good to hear from them about what had happened during their day and I got a chance I didn't expect. I was talking with one of the house managers who was looking at the pictures on my desk. We got on the topic as I was trying to explain why several of the pics featured my friends in Israelite costumes and dark make-up. The best part was I got to tell her about being here to plant a church. She went to college at BU and grew up Catholic--she said it was "really cool" that I was here doing something like that. We moved on to other conversation, but I was happy to be able to share the other part of my life once again. I hope that conversation can be a part of a long seed-sowing process here.

On the way home I was listening to one of the breakout sessions from Passion06 presented by Tim Hughes. He was talking about being a worship leader, but the talk was applicable nonetheless. One thing really stuck out to me that summed up my day--a quote from John Wesley. Tim Hughes mangled it a little bit, but here's the real quote: "Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn." Some days more than others, it's a challenge to have that enthusiasm, but I keep seeing God show up on those rough days. Inevitably, that's when someone will say how much they appreciate my work or compliment me on my positive attitude. I praise God for undergirding me on those days, for rewarding my enthusiasm. I can see Him at work through me as I pour myself out for others with joy--that can't be of myself and God gets the glory as a result.

I'm glad that we are all on a journey, 'working out our salvation with fear and trembling,' as Paul says. I don't take that to mean we should be afraid of God, but rather know that we can't live this life on our own strength. Today I learned a little bit more about what it means to be His servant and it was worth every bit of stress.