Friday, May 25, 2007

Random Ramblings of Good Things

I've got great friends. I mean, really great friends. I am grateful for each and everyone of them. I mean, really. Do I deserve to have such great friends? No. But God has blessed my life with them anyway. I'm glad.

I get to go to Texas in 6 days. And in 8 days I get to see my sister walk accross the stage and graduate from high school. Interestingly, I've not been to a high school graduation since my own in 1998, because Robert E. Lee High School's graduations are incredibly long and boring. There were 700 people in my graduating class, and I'm sure my sister's will be around the same size. Still, this is a huge milestone, and I couldn't be more excited to be there with her in this big moment.

I have a new nephew. His name is Logan, and in 6 days, I get to meet him.

My grades for the semester are slowly but surely getting posted online and so far, this semester has turned out to be not too shabby.

Could the Season finale of The Office have ended any better? I don't think so. I woke up the next morning thinking about Jim and Pam as though they were real people. I did find out that The Office will be airing 30 new episodes next season, as opposed to their usual 22. I have mixed feelings about that. I mean, I LOVE The Office and 30 new episodes and a lot fewer reruns does sound pretty great. But with 30 episodes to write, do you think they won't be as quality? Maybe a little too much bathroom humor, just to get a cheap laugh? We'll see. It's something to consider, and my friends pointed that out recently.

I had a little car trouble the other day and the check engine light came on. Immediate sick feeling in my stomach. The last time a check engine light came on, it was in our other car--$2300 later, the car had a new engine. Claim denied by the warranty company. I have a warranty on the Camry, too but when I took it to the shop I wasn't feeling too hopeful that the warranty would be of any use. Turns out it was and they totally paid for the work done on the car. What a great feeling-- a warranty that's actually worth something.

I'm happy in Kentucky today. Nothing exciting to report or talk about. But I'm happy, and that's good.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I am done... sort of.

YES! I am DONE for the semester. Three whole months without papers to write or Hebrew quizzes to study for, or Philosophy books to read. Hooray!

However, I can't quite rest easy just yet. On May 31st I'll be taking the Bible Content Exam. Because I have completed 1/3 of my degree program (yes! 1/3!!!), before the start of next semester I have to pass the Bible Content Exam. This is no 60% equals a passing grade situation, folks. 70 % won't cut it either. In order to pass, I have to score an 80%. Hopefully it won't be too hard to do, but I've only got a week left to get ready for it.

And then I can breathe. :) Wish me luck!

-KL

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Try this on for size...

I am working today on my final exam for Church History-- 4 5-page essays. Here are the questions. If you have any insight, let me know. I'm not posting this to complain. I'm just sharing with you why my brain is so tired. Enjoy:

1. The concept of denomination developed as a distinctive concept of the church in North America, different from that of Europe. Explain the distinctive features of denominations, as compared with the pattern of Christianity in Europe and give examples of how the church/state pattern played out differently in each of the three sections of the British colonies in North America.

2. Compare and contrast the theological and historical features of the First and Second Great Awakenings, noting how Edwards and Finney influenced the direction of each Awakening.

3. How does the liberal theology of Friedrich Schleirmacher represent a response to the historical conditions and intellectual currents of his day, both in the church and in the larger society, and explain his position on the meaning of sin and salvation, in relation to the Person and work of Jesus Christ, which was developed in response to those conditions.

4. How does the evangelical or neo-orthodox theology of Karl Barth represent a response to the historical conditions of his day, and to the earlier liberal theology, both in the church and in the larger society, and explain his understanding of revelation, in relation to the human condition and salvation through Jesus Christ, which was developed in response to those conditions.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Freedom

Being vulnerable isn't easy. On Monday, I felt led by God to be a little bit vulnerable with some people...some people I'm not usually all that vulnerable with. Pouring my heart out is sometimes a struggle for me, but Monday it turned out well. It was an unbelievably freeing experience. In listening to and heeding God's direction and leading, I realized some things about myself that I hadn't up until that point been willing to admit even to myself. Once I said those things out loud, I felt an overwhelming sense of freedom. And today I choose to still be free. Oftentimes when we experience the true freedom that God wants for us, it is our tendancy to want pick up again those very same things that held us hostage. Not me. Not today.

I have been struggling a great deal with feelings of inadequacy, particularly as it pertains to my intellect. I lack confidence in my own original thoughts, and am afraid to speak them, especially when it comes to spiritual things. I've been feeling out of place lately-- I can't even articulate how. Just all over, I guess. At work, I'm the only one on staff who didn't graduate from Asbury College. I'm not the child of a pastor, nor do I know all of the UM people in Kentucky. At school, it seems like I'm the only person I know who didn't take Greek in undergrad (perhaps a slight exaggeration). I'm pretty sure I'm the only person at school who didn't know what the word "exegesis" meant until AFTER I had already been here a semester. I'm not from Kentucky or Indiana. I'm from Texas, which around here makes some people roll their eyes in a sort of "Oh, you're one of those..." kind of way (Okay, we ARE obnoxious! I don't entirely blame them!).

In short, I have been playing this ridiculous game of comparing myself to others. I take note of the ways I am different and have somehow looked at those things as though they were bad.

In this constant, ridiculous comparison game, I have not remembered what I know is true: that God created me uniquely and with beautiful purpose. I have allowed myself to become harsh and judgmental and jealous and angry, and full of resentment. I have not extended forgiveness to others. These are all things that I have chosen for myself and I am the only one that can accept responsibility for it. It takes a lot of energy to carry all of that around, people. I have felt very ugly.

I had forgotten, I think, that God knows me by name. On Monday I was reminded of that very fact, through the encouragement of the others that sat in that room with me when I obediently shared my struggles with them.

So, my friends. That's where I've been, but not where I will stay.

I am grateful for this freedom.