Thursday, December 18, 2008

θεόπνευστος

I have been thinking a lot about inspiration lately. It is an interesting notion. I have been thinking about what causes me to be inspired, how I inspire others, and how to maintain inspiration. Oh the concepts we think we understand.

Two anecdotes on moments of inspiration in my life.

1: The other week I attended a poetry reading at the school. Sonnet L'Abbé is a young poet from Vancouver and she is, oh, probably late 20's or so. She wrote a poem about one of the lakes in...ah, I forget the country, some country in the Middle East that ends in "-stan" and how the lake has receded something like 25 miles over the years due to crop irrigation. The problems that have arisen from the receding lake are enormous and have affected all manner of life in "-stan". The way L'Abbé read her poem, the commentary that she was making, the insight into the effects of this tragedy and how she expressed it all so lyrically through poetry caused this interesting stillness in me. I think there is a stillness associated with inspiration, it is a remarkable sensation. When something is inspiring, be it visually or audibly, it resonates with some sort of truth within us. Doesn't it? If I am inspired, it is because some truth has been presented to me in a new way, or I am reminded afresh of something I already knew. And so a quietness comes over that inside area in me, be it heart, spirit, soul. Yes, a quietness comes over my soul. And I am never thinking in that moment, that moment of impact so to speak, I am more just being in a state of stillness and truth. So there is a space of being in the inspiration and then an after-effect of acting out of the impact of inspiration which would make me now, one who is inspired.


The result of my inspiration that day was to write a poem in iambic pentameter largely around the theme of a cello player playing alone on a stage in the dark. I was listening to Yo-yo-ma while I wrote it. Cello players make another good source of inspiration.

2. I studied Homer's The Iliad this semester. As a final paper, I did a compare and contrast of the relationship between Achilleus and Patroklos of The Iliad and David and Jonathan from 1 Samuel. I was having a moment of revenge against my prof and I really wanted to blow him out of the water with this final paper. He has a real obsession over vocabulary and prefers students to write papers on the details of certain word choices and the nuances they bring and so I decided to really take this concept to the extreme. Which I did. I went back to the original Greek of Homer's work, and the original Hebrew of 1 Samuel, and cross-referenced certain words and yada yada yada. It was my 21st-century Dada statement. Anyways, as I was researching, I spent quite a bit of time looking at Greek and soon I found that I wanted to learn it. So I downloaded the alphabet and spent my very last Homer class doing little alphabet drills instead of being attentive and then I printed out some vocabulary sheets and worked on those, and then last week I was in a used book store and I found "The Essentials of New Testament Greek" for $8 and have now gone through the first two chapters. I desire to learn it, obviously, for that which is lost in translation of our English scriptures to those of the originals and henceforth, my life-journey of learning Greek has commenced. All because of a stupid little paper. which inspired me. So that one was self-inspired. but here, check this out:

θεόπνευστος

That is the Greek word for inspiration. I just discovered this, so this is fresh off the press. So, this word seems to be a combination of two words, first the Greek word θεός which means God, and the second word is πνέω which means "to breathe, to blow; of the wind." Now listen to this. Spirit? Spirit spirit spirit. The word for Spirit in Greek is πνεῦμα which "comes from zee Greek word" πνέω; our second Greek word. Do you see? They are related. God and Spirit and inspiration are related. The word "inspiration" essentially combines them. And you would be correct if you were thinking of the passage in 2 Tim. 3:16 where this Greek word is originally used which says that all scripture is God-inspired...aka. God-breathed. God and Spirit. And what this means for us is that our inspiration is very likely God-breathed. Spirit. A little Divine breath into my soul. Into your soul.

Does it not now make perfect sense that I have a stillness in my soul as I am in a space of inspiration? It is a state of truth, a state of being, breathing, something breathing upon me. God breathing upon me. And so it seems that it is neither L'Abbé nor myself who catalyzes inspiration in my life or in the lives of others but rather an inspiration from God himself through a human venue.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Great Love

My mind was done, just done the other night and the best medicine for my mushy brain was a good laugh. And so, I decided that I wanted to watch Nemo, but that didn't work out for technical difficulties, and then I thought, well, I'll watch Sahara, the side-kick in that movie is hilarious, but then my eye caught "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton." No, I thought. I couldn't possibly. But then I remembered, yeah, Topher Grace is a hilarious actor, just his mannerisms crack me up because they are most akin to an old friend by the name of Jared Houston who has the same awkward, hilarious style (miss that guy). So second only to flying Jared himself to my living room for a personal stand-up show, I popped it in.

I laughed. I cried! It was so good. Not as in "Blood Diamond" good or "Anne of Green Gables" good, but as in Topher Grace, in-need-of-something-highschool-ish good. And here was the best-est line of the movie:

Bartender: "Was it love, big love, or great love?"

TG: "what's the difference?"

Bartender: Love you get over in two months. Big love, two years, but Great love...well, great love changes your life."

???!?!?!?!?!?

Come on. that's amazingly profound, or at least it was to my fried mind, late on a friday night as I craddled my glass of Pinot Grigio and subconsciously had the stress of papers hanging over my head.

Here's some recent love that I witnessed: Which one is it Louie? (is this not the sexiest f0t0 you ever saw? Tanner....you're amazing).

So in my life, it is o for three my friend. Let it be known that I don't think that anything short of the latter is worth it, this I know, and this I shall henceforth abide by. The only love in my life that is even remotely related to this discussion is the Great Love of the Good Lord, and that, appropriately, hits it out of the ball park entirely.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thi5 i5 an A.

0kay 0kay.

ha hA! h0mew0rk pr0crastinati0n. 1....3 (if i were a backward's Greek) and...5...that's it i think. 0kay, here'5 the game: y0u'11 find 0ut later.

s0, i wa5 g0ing t0 g0 t0 a bib1e 5tudy t0night, but i ju5t d0n't fee1 1ike playing the r01e of newbie again, at lea5t n0t t0night, 50 I'm n0t g0ing t0 g0. Even th0ugh I haven't been 0ut 0f the h0u5e a11 day and i g0t a11 spiffed up f0r n0thing, but hey it'5 nice to be 5piffed up ju5t f0r me, y0u kn0w?

0h 5pani5h mu5ic. 0n 5unday i went t0 a 5pani5h church. n0t 5ure h0w my 5peaking i5 after tw0 m0nths, cuz i didn't rea11y ta1k t0 any0ne 0ther than my bi1ingual friend wh0 0pted to 5peak t0 me in ang1ai5, but my c0mprhen5i0n i5 5ti11 up there. that i5 g00d new5 becau5e, friend5, if y0u haven't heard, i wi11 be vi5iting the 1and of 5paniard5 f0r three week5 at the end 0f January. 100king f0rward t0 that trip. ye55um.

f0ur week5! preci5ément. unti1 i 5hall f0rever be terminated the w0rking 0n 0f the undergrad. y0u bet bébé. int0 the b1ue bey0nd. the blue that i5 bey0nd b1ue in the bey0nd. i cann0t wait t0 5ee bey0nd that kind 0f b1ue. TAKE ME N0W!!!!

i'm g0ing to be creative right n0w. a 5pecia1 f0t0 m0ment f0t0 f0t0 ju5t f0r y0u.




wou1d y0u be1ieve me if i 5aid that a11 three 0f the5e image5 came fr0m the 5ame f0t0? it i5 true. and that i5 ca11ed arti5tic 1icen5e.

here i5 a g00d Je5u5 w0rd: it i5 f0und ju5t ea5t 0f 1uke, ju5t we5t 0f 9 and a 5midget midget 0ver fr0m 3o but n0t yet at 32.

If y0u abide in my w0rd, y0u are tru1y my di5cip1e5, and y0u wi11 kn0w the truth and the truth 5ha11 5et y0u free.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Life in Red

We're back baby. This is a third person narrative...to myself. I think I've lost the world, so here this night, post-wedding, should-be-working-on-a-paper, recently-inspired-by-Tanner's-blog....I write.

Life and weddings and marriage and love and Jesus and school and good music. I want to sing in coffee shops. or busk. That would really make sense with a lot of who i am. Kat: the busker. The female minstrel? What does that look like? (such was the question posed to me today.) Me. You're looking at it. I am. The Female Minstrel.

When I'm bored and doing homework, I take I'm-bored-and-doing-homework shots in photobooth. Here's my recent fav:


I have an insane collection of I'm-bored-and-doing-homework shots. Someday I'm going to publish a photo book and this is what the title is going to be, it's really innovative: I'm-bored-and-doing-homework. Shots.

So, self, are you really enjoying your current study of "Believing God" by Beth Moore? Why yes, I am, thanks for asking. It is so precisely what I need to be learning and affirming in my life right now. In fact, I'd recommend it to anyone who asked me for a recommendation. Say someone came up to me and asked, "hey you, who do you recommend?" why I'd say, "I would recommend Beth Moore to you, I would, yes I would, I would recommend, rec-commend, re-commend, commend, recommend Beth Moore to you, yes I would recommend her." And they would reply, thank-you for that recommendation. and i would reply, I am exceedingly grateful for the chance to recommend Beth Moore to you. and then i would leave.

qoq. that was supposed to say "wow" but my fingers were on the wrong keys.

The sexiest love song that will ever exist is "The Blower's Daughter" by Damien Rice. It just doesn't get any better than that.

The read of the month from the literature department is Native Son by Richard Wright. It's a black writer writing about black rage in the states. It was published in 1940. Very interesting. I'm going to write an 'A' paper on that book. That is what I will do. That is what I will do as soon as I finish my 'A' paper on Homer and I will do that as soon as I finish the very necessary task of doing a face-lift on a blog read by myself. Yes. My life of back-burner activities.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

My life my life

Where a more appropriate place exists to write a final blog entry for summer 2008 other than the airport of my layover, I know not. Here I am, sitting in Edmonton, the place of my birth. A shout out to Rachel, Jeff and lil’ Linnea. Thanksgiving plans are still in the back of my mind. Via…scooter? Yow.


The summer the summer. The last post was a photographic experience if I recall. Here’s the problem, so so sos ososos osos oso much has gone down, I just cannot possibly do it justice in writing. Please, let’s go for coffee and I will share with you in person if you are interested. The short of it is this: I am bursting with testimony, with the incredible work that God did within our team. The utter transformation. The Good News of the gospel. It is such good news! Who knew. I mean, I “knew” but I didn’t “know” until…august. Ah, it’s so good.


I'm such a little editor. I just took out a chunk of some Jesus stuff, it was good, but, I don't want to preach??? . No, I don't. I want to be a person of love. Can everyone in my Abby vacinity who is reading this take it upon themselves to be my personal accountability partners this next while, ensuring that I am a person of love?


If there is any closing encouragement I can offer, it would be to pick up your bible. Just read it. Seriously, crack open those ancient pages, pick up a translation other than the one you’ve memorized your whole life, and force yourself to read the content of that book. I guarantee you will be surprised. Search for all the promises that God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit offer to us. And hold on to them forever.


At the beginning of august it became quite clear that our team was caught up in something far bigger than ourselves, that this summer, the twelve of us, in Guatemala, had been in the divine scheme of things for quite a while. What a privilege.

Hey, I think my suitcase is getting loaded on the plane. Moving up up up up up the little suitcase escalator thing.


What am I reading right now. Let’s investigate the carry-on luggage of Kat: The Bible. (gooder). Fear & Trembling (I’m holding out to marry a Søren one day…is that Russian?) And, the newest addition: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Thanks Carolyn, I’m enjoying it. A nice mix of honesty and humor from one successful New York writer, whose life falls apart and so she goes on a search for God and self across the world. So far it is intriguing that she, quite clearly, has identified the still small voice of God in her life, to the point of it dictating to her as she writes. What is interesting is that God, at this point, is the big Deity, but not yet associated with Christ or salvation, maybe she will find him by the end of the book, but I don’t think she does. And so it is interesting, that, I think, God is readily available to dialogue with everyone, whether they fall into the Christian category or not. Interesting. And now we come full circle that, you are very right Carolyn, “Because we are all on a journey.” Amen to that.


That was an unnecessary glimpse into my personal library at the moment. It intrigues me and therefore…everyone else as well??? Mah.

--------------

I'm back home now. And I'm just a-chilling, and posting this last one, and I had a brilliant thawt, brilliant. I was trying to think of some closing pic that would be all-encompassing, but there isn't one. So, as you have noticed, I have included the series of topical shots that I took in the Chimaltenango market. And, now I will draw my own topical picture of my summer. Because...I have time to do something bizarre like that? It will be this self-reflective exercise. here we go.


Closing thoughts.

Music is beautiful.

People are beautiful.

Honesty is beautiful.

Vulnerability is beautiful.

Acceptance is beautiful.

Spanish worship is beautiful.

I am beautiful.

Piano is beautiful.

Team 2008 is beautiful.

Guatemala is beautiful.

Ontario is beautiful.

This airport is beautiful.

Abbotsford. You’re beautiful too.


Thanks for following. Traditionally, this is the part where I declare the dormancy of this blog henceforth and thereafter this closing post, until another trip, however, I may just throw a thought or two out there every once in a while, and who really knows how long I shall abide in sweet ol’ Abby. And so.

If you like. Keep me bookmarked.

Much much much love, Kat

Friday, August 15, 2008

are you singing to yourself.

I have nothing to say. Or no patience to say it. So this is the... obligatory update since it's overdue. so...let the pics speak. SPEAK!


Mayan Ladies.


Juls and the hybrid.


Only on a Guatemalan volcano top.


Piggie market in Chimaltenango.

ummmmm....took a little longer than we thought??????


four-foot nothing Spanish teacher: Ana. love. her.


Cindy-lita. sis-ter.


animal plastic funsies.


classic vintage wall.


Python around mi neck!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

"Preamble from the Heart" ~SK

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. That's how Paul starts most of his letters. I thought I'd follow his lead.

We just returned back from a weekend at Semuc Champey. It's a really beautiful tropical, translucent pool paradise. I've written about it the last few years, you can read about it and see photos from the archives if you're a really hardcore follower of my life. I'll hit the highlites of the weekend: some good hammock time. some really good Kierkegaard time. Some good devo time with the group. Some good...star-gazing time. Some good rope-swing time. Some good contemplate-life time.

So, this time last week, something shifted in our group. Dare I call it a "shift of the Spirit?" I think so. It's been a very exciting week. Three of the students were involved in a hardcore, Spirit-led, exorcism time, which in turn, rocked their world because...because. Jesus is alive and his Spirit is in us! (maybe). Yeah. And then...this hunger that had been prophesied over our group months ago, without our knowledge, is being fulfilled, because a good chunk of the team is hungry for the things of the Lord. Because our generation, to generalize, is fed up with Christianity as a religion and is interested in the real guts of the relationship with Jesus part. So we are hungering after the Lord. And then Elise was baptised on Thursday. Which was exciting. And and and. it's good. It's the best feeling as a leader when you've known all along that you're really just a pawn in the whole scheme of things, and then it becomes really clear who the real King Pin is.

Rather train yourself for godliness, for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. ~1 Tim. 4:8.

Even of a person born in humble circumstances I ask that he should not be so inhuman towards himself as to be unable to think of the king's castle except at a distance and by dreaming of its grandeur indistinctly, wanting to exalt it and simultaneously destroying its grandeur by exalting it in such a debasing way. I ask that he be human enough to approach and bear himself with confidence and dignity there too... I ask everyone not to think so inhumanly of himself as to dare not set foot in those palaces where not just the memory of the chosen lives on but the chosen themselves. He should not push himself shamelessly forward and thrust upon them his kinship with them, he should feel happy every time he bows before them, but be frank and confident and always something more than a cleaning woman; for unless he wants to be more than that he will never come in there. ~Søren Kirkegaard.

Give some thought to that.

mmmmm, on another note, i ate the heart of a gallina this past week. That's a chicken more or less. There was actually an aorta sticking out of it. it was quite the mental challenge. Mind over matter. and cold showers are much easier to take if they are but three minute immersions instead of limb by limb by limb as i am accustomed to doing. Just look how the Lord is transforming my ways, it's incredible.

The random assortment of pictures are just that: the snapshots of day to day life. T.I.G. This Is Guatemala. Nevermind..."web acceleration error" aka. the photos aren't uploading. Another time then.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

la vida y mas

Week three of Guatemala. What has been great this summer is our regular attendance in one of the local churches over in Jocotenango. It’s a good time. Giant Jesus dance party at times. I have much to learn from the church here. As in I’m pretty sure they were singing all these same songs last year, but they continue to with church services twice a week, singing and dancing and praising God with all of their strength as if hearing the songs for the first time. The truth of the lyrics never change, but I often tire of a melody, and therefore the song as a whole, but that’s not quite right now is it.

This is my family. Meet: Agustin, Osman, Franky, Cindy and Enma.

2008 is a year of change. For me in my personal life, for the program, for lots of things it seems. We’re in the process of asking some hard questions about what direction this ministry needs to go in. We’ve concluded that Jesus needs to be a more evident part of our work in speech and so we’ve been incorporating that into all aspects of our work here. That’s been an exciting change. We made a quick decision to take the group to visit a ministry in the Copan region. Les and Rita Peters are incredible missionaries with Impact Ministries and just the short 24 hours we had with them became a highlite of the summer for the group. Some good reminders like, “We need to live life with a “yes” in our spirit, even if what God is asking us is really difficult”. Or…. “the best thing you can do with your life is to give it away to Jesus”. Now, you would have to meet Rita and just see the overflow of Jesus in her life to believe that that statement is true for herself and that she is living it out. Great people, grrrrrrrrrreat. People.


And this is just a sweet shot. It makes a good desktop.

The book of Ephesians is incredible. I spent a large chunk of my Sunday afternoon slowly slowly slowly reading the first half. I’ve taken to underlining only those passages that are “really really really good” but….funny, I literally underlined 80% of those first three chapters. Check it out. The short of it is: Jesus. He’s the Reason.

Oooo, another MUST read: Fear & Trembling. Søren Kierkegaard. Wow wow wow wow wow, I get so lost in the lyricism of his writing. Astounding. Inspiring. Go to your local bookstore and buy a copy immediately. In short, Kierkegaard is obsessed with Abraham, and the book is his philosophical breakdown of that bible story. Here are some gems:

I am convinced that God is love; this thought has for me a pristine lyrical validity.

[on Abraham] He believed on the strength of the absurd, for all human calculation had long since been suspended.

The dialectic of faith is the most refined and most remarkable of all dialectics, it has an elevation that I can form a conception of but no more.

People commonly travel the world over to see rivers and mountains, new stars, garish birds, freak fish, grotesque breeds of human; they fall into an animal stupor that gapes at existence and they think they have seen something. I am not concerned with this. But if I knew where such a knight of faith lived I would journey to him on foot, for this marvel concerns me absolutely.


Go.

Kierkegaard.
I hiked Pacaya. That’s an active volcano here. Yeah, Elise, Ams and I took a tour and it was thrilling. Imagine just this beautiful tropical trail with black volcanic soil going up up up up up up up up for the first hour (in the company of travelers from total el mundo….I LOVE the French), and then the next 30 minutes picking through lava rock and fishures until we arrived at the glowing embers. BUT WAIT! Only a glimpse before a volcanic burp disturbs the air and rocks start tumbling down upon us. Imagine 50 or so tourists caught in several moments of panic and scattering, thinking everything is going to BLOW!!! But… it didn’t, and only two people were injured. On Pacaya, according to LonelyPlanet, you are more likely to get injured by the activity of the volcano then by criminal activity. And that was certainly true for our group. Our guide found some flowing lava, so up we went. Smell the burning rubber as the soles of your shoes melt from the scorching hot rock, and feel the shifty shifty path beneath your feet as you disregard safety in an effort to witness the brilliance of lava lava lava right before your eyes. It was quite incredible. A must see.

The group is good. This town has so much pain and hurt and dysfunction in it. If you’re a praying person, please pray for our little town of Tizate. There is much that God would like to do here. Pray that the team would be present here in their minds, for focus on our work and the people here, for attitudes to give give give in love.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mishmash

So, here I am in Guatemala! yow. almost a week here now and it is grrrrrr. ate. altogether, GRATE. mwa.

yeah, what to say, feels like home, third time, things are familiar, the family is familiar, SPANISH IS BACK! I'm very happy to be able to communicate in a fairly decent, semi-humiliating fashion: it works well for me. I'm currently sitting at the back of the salon watching some of our chicas teach s flagging routine to uno, dos, tres... thirteen niños. They're cute. Speaking of cute, here Mom, these were the two kids you were talking to earlier...Deana on the right, mi hermana Cindy on the left. Nope, other way around. Ah, Cindy, I love that girl, we hang out a lot.

The team is doing really great here, the first week is always a bit overwhelming seeing as it's a new culture, new language, new family, new work, thrown into teaching and drama and art and spanish classes et cetera. it's a bit much. it's sink or swim, and they always swim in the end.

I personally am having a blast making connections with different people and organizations, pursuing this fairtrade bizzle. Some exciting meetings lined up for tomorrow in the Antigua. DOT.

More news, congrats to my brew Kris who became recently engaged to the Char charmant...hay una foto de los dos abajo. Felicitationas. Soy muy feliz para ustedes.Hey, before I forget, thanks to everyone keeping up on this here Blogggggg. i've gotten your little comments and emails even if I have not replied! Thanks for...having an interest in my life and random random thoughts.

Speaking of which, what was I reading recently....ah, man, I'm getting so bible-y, but so it goes! what was I thinking the other nite...more heavy thoughts. Do I share? maybe just a bit, let me find biblia...so, I'm finishing up Galatians, and this is what it says, "so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith" (G. 3:14.) So clearly I am on a Holy Spirit theme this summer. and the Thought Pattern went something like this:

hmmmm, so the Spirit is promised, and we receive it through faith...hmm, o, there's something else interesting, "But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe" (A.3:22) Right. So the promise of this second passage is talking about the Spirit as mentionned already, only by faith in Jesus is it given and only to those who believe...believe. Hmmm. hmm?

maybe I'll flip back to Acts, that's a good book that talks about the Spirit... (flip to Acts) "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power" (A. 10:38). hmmm, so Jesus only got the HS when he was baptized, so God put his Spirit into his son, and power too... "To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name" (A. 10: 43). Interesting. believes in him, believes in him. what does that mean exactly. Believe in Jesus, believe in what he did, all his crazy works, and God says something like "I am the same yesterday, today and forever", so crazy Jesus works, if I believe they really happened, they must be able to happen today too, seeing as God is unchanging, and we must believe believe believe this.

Believe.

And I only get this gift, this "promise", aka The HS if I am a believer. In Jesus. Which we all are. or are we.

interesting.

that was not thought out very well...you can come to your own conclusions.

On another note, I chopped my hair off. Oh, it was grand, it happened quite a while ago...two months now? yeah. Can you imagine kat with hair 3/8 "? Bzzzzzzz. YEAH BABY! It's been this phenomenal secret that I've kept to myself, but it's leaking out, and seeing as I want to share Miss Carolyn with you, as she is a very dear person to me, I suppose now is the time: here we are. Te amo Carolyn, te amo.Hasta Luego.

Monday, June 30, 2008

MickeyBlue & Specs

There's a kitten sleeping on me right now. cute really.

So, here i sit on the back porch with Ams, playing with some kitties, enjoying the setting sun, mild breeze in the air, sun peeking through the scattered clouds. we got back not too long ago from a last errands trip into town. midnight on Wednesday will see us travelling south in the three silver stallions à Detroit to catch our early morning flight out. Syanara Ontario.

Asparagus ended well. Best season yet. During certain moments Kris and I felt like yeah, heck, we could work in the asparagus barn for several more months, but no, two is good enough I think. Onwards.

now there are two kitties on me. We've named them MickeyBlue & Specs. Three of us saw a sign that said "free kittens" whilst en route to Tillsonburg and so we stopped and took two. We've a special home in mind for them.

The summer is half over and Guatemala is upon us. Final loads of laundry, final BBQ's, final final.

Here's the team. We have: Fids, Jess, Ams, moi-même, Elise, Kris, Jules, Yo-yo-ma, Dale, Karla, Mary and Andy. Phenomenal phenomenal people. yeah, just really enjoying being with them for these intersecting months of our lives. There is no shortage of beautiful people in this world.

There's this chipmunk that keeps scampering across the lawn. bit distracting really.

Not really anything deep or mind-penetrating to offer in this moment. The grass is really green here. Carolyn is a very dear person to me. Love will take me the whole of my life to learn how to live out. My default is set to "egocentric", and not "others". Ties in with the life love thing, die to self, die to self.

Mmmm, cherries are in season. band shot.
I've been able to reunite with some former alumni of this program as of late. Koodoes to Jenna and Char, two inspirational and impactful people in my life. I can see myself turning vegan and cycling everywhere in the future. Really I'm just a mosaic of others.

Maybe I can find a good quote somewhere...one of the books I'm juggling is the Shack (i know i know), but if you can get through the first 100 pages of terrible writing, the author redeems himself with interesting dialogues between the protagonist and the trinity. let's see...okay, i found something i underlined: Trust is the fruit of a relationship in which you know you are loved. Because you do not know that I love you, you cannot trust me."

until Guaté.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

off the record.

Hmmm, that time again is it. Swinging in a hammock in the rain is a good time. So is Vivaldi: the Four Seasons. So is ambrosia salad. I forgot how tasty that is.

I don't even know what to write about, there's so much. This will be the Kat: off the record entry. Starting with.... . . . . .

Today I attempted to pull a prank on a co-worker and it completely back-fired on me. You have no idea. it's hardly worth getting into, but I'm sure I will have to have a conversation or two before the week/the night is up to clarify some stuff. Robert gave me a hearty laugh when he told me of the toad he put on the asparagus line once, and down it went on the line and the last girl freaked out, fainted, quit on the spot and spent the rest of the day crying in her vehicle. How do such good intentions go so terribly awry? Part of me thinks it's hilarious and I don't care to defend myself or explain myself, but that is me just closing up, throwing up some defenses and being selfish. So. here's hoping a level, gracious heart wins out at the appropriate time.

One of my favorite worship songs is Before the Throne of God Above. It's hit me in a different way in recent weeks although I've taken to it for quite some time now. I'm currently listening to it.

Does anyone know what it means to be "spiritual"? think of that word. we just throw it around, but have we really thought about what it means? So currently i am reading in 1 Corinthians, and having just come through Acts and Romans, there seems to be this theme of...the Spirit. capital S. I have to distinguish you see, because it talks of the spirit (lower case s) and the Spirit (capital S). And then you read something like this, where is it...okay, listen,

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. "For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ. [...] But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?....

et cetera.

I was going to put a picture of a cow right here, but the connection is too slow, it won't upload. Just because. It's a cow. you know.

So....what we can conclude is this: I live in the flesh, seeing as there are jealousies in my life and other such indications, so then I fall into the "people of the flesh" category, i.e. infant. But there is this other category which is "spiritual people", lower case s, who are filled with the Spirit of God, capital S. Spiritual. what does that even mean, let me F12 it. Here is what F12 says: spiritual: 1) of, relating to, or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things. 2)(of a person) not concerned with material values or pursuits. this is flawed, why am i using F12 and not the word of God to define spiritual...will have to work on that.

also note how we are to have the "mind of Christ". ah, citation, check it, that passage is from 1 Corinthians 2: 14 - 3: 3. right, this was note-worthy too... "while there is jealousy yup yup...are you not of the flesh and behaving "only in a human way?" uh, sorry Paul, last time i checked, ummm, I was human. interesting. very interesting. so (putting the pieces together, do you see the puzzle starting to create a picture?), ah, so, I'm human but...i'm to be Spirit-filled, capital S, making me no longer an infant and I never have to drink 1% ever again, and then i will have the Divine in me, capital D, which sorta makes me not human anymore, but something more. living differently. eating real food like ambrosia salad and perogies, and never drinking milk ever again. Forget Calcium. I knew it wasn't spiritual. lower case s.

I digress.

I knew this would be rough.

but hopefully the real questions are coming through somehow through this...bunkum.

Bunkum. I love thesauruses.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Scuffed Shoes

Ahhh, amazing.

Friends are so dear, are they not?

People are beautiful, are they not?

Like...I only intended on staying at the Konrad's to say hi, but ended up staying for dinner, tea and yogurt with three handfuls of frozen blueberries with maple syrup partnered with lovely conversation.

Like...walking up to my coworker drawing a cat on a bright orange sticky so that I can parade around with it on my back all day.

Like...figuring life out together, and God out together and struggling together.

Like...country yard sales and old order churches.

Like...biking 5km with a giant James Dean poster under your arm.

Like...shared tears.

Like...people in love being sweet to one another.

Like...like like. like. like . like . . . . . .......

Today I started a conversation with Kris that we will maybe finish tomorrow, and it was on my recent musings of love and faithfulness. I think. Deep within. each of us, and I was specifically thinking of men because they are perhaps perceived to be the greater infidel of the two genders (although this is probably not true), but I was thinking that every man wants to find that one woman to be absolutely faithful to. Absolutely. And I've been musing these things because love is everywhere, and a good friend of mine got engaged last week, and Kris is smitten by his Char, and my co-worker Joel is getting married in two weeks to lovely Susie, and there is just this sweetness and beauty and love. love. love. love. and utter fidelity. for that one woman. and i am observing this love and it is very sweet. and counter-cultural. and love has to go deeper than carnal desire and reach depths of honesty and vulnerability and safety and support and then it is this sweet, tender, lasting treasure. to be a beloved. and that is...perhaps a bit of the original image that we were created in the likeness of revealing itself in little glimpses.

life is this...deceptive romance. or is it? hmmm. I am discovering that I constantly romantise things, not in the sense of romantic love, but of classic, idealized beauty. Like fresh muffins every day of the week. Old gravestones with illegible script. the Sahara. the Other. Scuffed Shoes. Adventure. that which i have not. those seem to be the things that are romantised. yet grass is green everywhere, not just on the other side, and perhaps it was never green there to begin with. and it seems to be that underneath the romance of life is a lot of hard work. dishes. planning. dirt. disease. hurt. homesickness. I don't know what the conclusion of this thought is other than we live in an idealized world but seem unwilling to step up to the necessary work or find the romance in our own present circumstances.

On runs back from the cemetery, I am always struck by the straightness of the path before me combined with the music I am listening to. this...surreal, treadmill, perseverance, life analogy type of thing. I can't really describe it. it is... the color of music.

the Color of Music.

That would be a good book title.

Today is June 9. On this day, in 1853, someone named Anne died. She was the beloved wife of Samuel Francis. A beloved wife. and died at 23. I'm almost 23. It is her grave that I visit and throw lilacs on when I run to Hemlock cemetery. Her illegible scripted gravestone. Very, very romantic. A beloved wife. and died at 23. I'm almost 23. somebody explain that to me.

and now I will go back to reading Romans. because it describes this very romantic kind of Savior and a very romantic type of grace except this is perhaps a genuine expression of romance and I detect no deception at all. I think it might just be real.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

ninehundredplus. timestwo. unplugged.

“There are a lot of people we know who profess to be Christians but then you occasionally meet someone who really knows the Lord and has spent time with the living Jesus” (Ryan Wyatt).

I concur.

It is not that there are a lack of people who claim to be Christians, or even those who honestly try and live their lives out in obedience to God or those who seek him outside the Sunday services, etc., it’s just that, in recent months, it has become clear to me that that this Christian walk was meant to look a great deal different than it does in my own life. And my life is probably a classic example of someone who seeks God on matters, someone who aims to be obedient, someone who considers herself a Christian week in and week out, someone who desires to grow in her faith, yada yada yada. And I am probably like you and you are probably like me, and together we probably cannot say that we have spent time with the living Jesus, or maybe we have, but maybe it was one profound weekend last year, or that time in France on the Mediterranean, or that phenomenal retreat, or whatever. But I am recently under the (correct) assumption that knowing, knowing the living Jesus should be something that can honestly be claimed by every individual and on a consistent basis. As in interactive. As in present tense. As in I’ve met a handful, a handful, of people throughout my life who have met the living Jesus and now I want to meet him too.

A (brief) history of my journey up until now. More for my sake than yours, to see on paper the progression up until this point. Because it has certainly been a progression, and in hindsight, I can see that.

Alberta. (somewhat) traditional Mennonite church for 13 years. Ride the faith of the parents. Alliance church, 2 years. Enter personal faith. Intro to spiritual gifts, anointing of oil, awareness of the supernatural. Province change. Enter Sunshine coast. Youth group with Baptist influence 3 years. Further awareness of supernatural. Intro to (more) expressive worship. Observations of speaking in tongues/ the prophetic. Intro to some passionate young people after Christ. Graduation. City change. Abbotsford. Bible study. Intro to deliverance/healing prayer. Missions trip. Intro to our authority in Christ. UFV. Intro to world religions and the upsetting realization that there are more common denominators than I initially realized. The Good News: Jesus. Church change, enter Northview. Further involvement/commitment to young adult group. Summers abroad in charismatic Guatemala. Intro to responsibility for social justice and environment. January 2008 - present: intro to the fact that I’m completely missing something. Intro to a spiritual hunger for something that I don’t have. Intro to actually reading the bible. ACUTALLY READING THE BIBLE. Struggles with this fact: God. Big big big big big. DEITY. Big big big big big. Powerful. Beyond us in every way. Me. Miniscule. Finite. Little little little little little me. Here’s the mental picture: a tiny dot. Quite like this punctuation point:

.

Now, around this dot is an enormous circle. I am the dot. You are the dot. God is the enormous circle. He says he wants to commune with us, even live in us. But I am a dot. And he is an enormous circle. And I am finite. But he is not. So how the hell does that work. Right. That would look like something completely different than anything else of this world. The divine. Doing divine things. In me. Through me. In little finite me.

I’ve been ACTUALLY READING THE BIBLE lately.
Actually reading the bible.
Actually reading the bible.
Actually reading the bible.

Something I heard about a dozen times this year was this: you either believe the bible in its entirety, or you don’t believe it at all. Nod, nod nod, furrowed brow in agreement, a little “mmm-hmmm, yeah, that’s good” but only in the last month have I really been thinking on that and deciding that I need to be one of those two things: in or out. All or nothing. Because I do, or have done, this selective reading thing, or perhaps I just know the stories too well. Or perhaps I’ve just been blind. But I’ve actually been reading the bible lately. I’ve gone through Acts several times before, but right now it’s like I’m going through it for the first time. And you know what it says, it says the Holy Spirit FELL upon people. Like the timing was appointed. And an angel busted Peter out of prison. And a gate just swung open on its own accord. And Saul was one of the worst SOB’s ever to live but then. But then.

But then.

He met the living Jesus. And Bam. Sure stone me, put me in prison, ship-wreck me, ship-wreck me again, reject me, hate me, it doesn’t matter. I’ve met the Living Jesus. And let’s not forget what these “fanatics” did for their Lord. They did exactly what Jesus did: healed. Raised the dead. et cetera.

So. I’m trying to believe the whole bible. And it says that Jesus came to bring us life to the full, life abundantly. And Jesus says he wants us to know the father as he knows the father. And these are promises, and I’m holding God to them that I will find these promises for my own life.

Sometime soon.

P.S. A good listen is "Come all you weary" by Thrice. Gold.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

summation.

I get to wear my favorite trashy jeans and not take flack from anyone.

Hairnets are hot.

I get to walk around with a clipboard and deal with numbers all day.

I get to visit the students at their various immobile positions on the assembly lines during the day.

I get to ring the buzzer for breaks.

I get to brew 70 cups of President’s Choice coffee every morning at 7:15.

I get to work with my two home-dawgs from last year. we are quite the dynamic trio.

Reasons why the asparagus barn ain’t all that bad.


Flying kites in the field.

Sun-time. risqué.

Asparagus piñatas.

3/8” (muahh-ahh-ahhhhhh).

Group testimony times.

St. Jacob’s roadtrip.

Cherry fields.

Team crochet blanket.

Tea at the Konrad’s.

Runs to my fav cemetery.

Sweet $3.99 purchases from VV.

Beach beach beach beach beach.

Custom alarm clock in the form of Julianne hurling herself on me every morning at 6:15.

Ontario sunsets.

An incredible team.

Time to read.

Private bird sanctuary out the back door.

Grass. grass. grass. grass. grass. grass. grass. all for me. for me. for me. for me.

High-lites of Ontario living.


Band shot while trespassing in a ginsine field.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Our responsibility to strangers

(you don't really have to read this. it's kinda long. 969 words to be exact. it's just something i wrote for a friend who has hopes of starting a grassroots magazine. just more thoughts. sometime soon i'll buy batteries that work and snap some photos and get out of my brain and broadcast the people that I'm spending my summer with. all in due time. all in due time).

"Our Responsibility to Strangers"

I have long since grown tired of our affluent Western culture and its self-centered expenditures that often seem foolish and unnecessary. The question of what is a necessary expense and what is not differs from one person to the next. A large percentage of people, for example, could not fathom a life apart from their ready-at-hand cell phone whereas a decade ago, cell-phones were a luxury and not nearly as common as they have become today. This exemplifies what has become the norm for what I (admittedly) presume to be the average North American mindset: luxuries made necessities. When one poses the question of “what do I really need?” the answer is surprisingly little and yet people either evade this question altogether, or worse, in full conscience choose to live in luxury anyway.

All of this preamble aims to establish a spectrum in which one end represents unnecessary expenditures and the other represents extreme frugality. The purpose of the spectrum is not simply to question the spending habits of the West, but rather to give thought to the implications of these habits, either the inhibition or the assistance of them to the Other, the marginalized, the developing world, the “least of these”. Kwame Anthony Appiah in his book Cosmopolitanism stated that the question is not, “whether or not we have a responsibility to strangers but rather, to what degree is our responsibility?” The question then becomes, where am I placed on the spectrum? Where should I be placed? Personally I am of the mind that both extremes of the spectrum are unhealthy and yet my tendency is still to stray towards frugality. I am in need of an appropriate balance, but in the end it will still likely remain closer to the frugal than that of excessive expense.

It is, I think, obvious why excessive spending is unhealthy as it not only handicaps one’s ability to budget, but it also breeds selfishness, greed and vanity. The other, frugality, is dangerous because taken to the extreme, one would never even go out for dinner for the guilt felt for those in the world without food let alone the opportunity to dine out. I am exaggerating a bit in my examples, but the point is made that some type of balance must be found and yet it seems to me that the majority of people strike a balance that favors spending over giving, and I think it should be the other way around.

To further explore this suggestion of a correct balance, we need to more clearly define who the “stranger” is that we are responding to. Mitch Albom’s novel The Five People You Meet in Heaven follows the journey of a deceased man as he arrives in heaven and learns five valuable lessons pertaining to his life . The first lesson learned is, “Strangers are simply family that you have yet to come to know.” I cannot express how profound this quotation has seemed to me in recent weeks. It suggests that strangers are not simply the thirty other students in my English class, or even the new neighbors who moved in next door, but also the Sikh community in my town, the prostitutes strutting down Hastings, the family devastated in Rwanda. “Strangers” include those from every walk of life, every religion, every lifestyle, every upbringing, every social rank.

I was caught off-guard when I realized that Jesus preached a similar notion in the parable of the Good Samaritan . Having grown up on this story, I suppose I just never related it to my “family of strangers” in Africa and yet that is exactly what this story is about. Jesus, in response to the question of who is my neighbor?, tells of a man who, while traveling, is mugged, robbed, and left for dead by the side of the road. Not only does a priest pass him by, but also a Levite. Where most people would stop for a half-dead man on the side of the road, these two men do not even though, ironically, they even more than the average person should have. It is the third man of the neighboring country of Samaria who not only stops to help, but also brings the man to an inn to recuperate and there pays his costs. It would seem that Christ also calls us to the same responsibility to strangers.

Here are just two examples that promote our giving to the needy of the world but the matter goes one step further from the question of degree to the suggestion outlined by Appiah at the conclusion of his book that, along with having a responsibility to strangers we also, “have a responsibility as to where we direct our funds.” William Easterly in his book The White Man’s Burden argues that there are two great tragedies in relation to the world’s poor. The first addresses the physical ailments of disease, malnourishment, unclean water, etc. The second tragedy is the use of the West’s foreign aid finances, $2.3 trillion in the past five decades. Where has this money gone to and has it been used wisely? Easterly suggests that the results hardly match with the dollar amount given.

I am not aiming to propose an answer to the original question of balance because, at best, personal convictions are just that: personal and therefore unique to every individual. I do, however, hope to challenge or stimulate some reflection on spending habits and question whether we are called to give/do more. And finally, where is it that we are directing our funds? We owe it to the poor to give at least to some degree and furthermore to be responsible in our giving and ensure that it goes to an organization that is effective in its efforts to bring about some form of relief.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

title.

We’re into week 2. The team is great, nine girls, three guys. Defined by their servanthood. This is delightful and makes all the difference in the world. It is going to be a great summer.

It’s a late start to asparagus and we’ll only be starting tomorrow. We’ve done a few random jobs here and there but have enjoyed the extra time to get to know one another as a team.

I have caught a nasty head cold and have been sick the last few days. I want to chop my head off, but will withstand the temptation in the hope that I will recover soon.

It’s still beautiful here. I love having a lawn, it’s a fantastic break from condo-living. And we have our own private symphony of birds every morning. and lake Erie is still. astounding.

I’ve been reading! Ahh, divine pleasures, here is an extraordinary quote from the Five People You Meet in Heaven: “Strangers…are just family you have yet to come to know.” This quote was on my mind a lot last week, in context of this team, of a bunch of people thrown into a situation and trying to find their place, but it’s true you know. That capacity for family is there. is. here. ponder it, it's profound.

Hmm, other thoughts, I’ve been thinking of the beauty of journeys and how we’re all on one, at different places along the journey spectrum. It is a vast spectrum. I think in the past the spectrum has frustrated me, but it seems beautiful to me now. that somehow God walks with all of us where we are, and is drawing us to himself in different ways, at different paces, teaching us different things. That we may not respond in the same way as based on the variety of contexts that we come from, various upbringings, a plethora of unique experiences, etc. but still we journey.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Pack Day.

Babies. What’s up with the miracle of life, I don’t get it. I am the proud cousin-aunty of... the little black-haired ism that was birthed into the world but five hours ago to cousin Rachel and Jeff. Congrats. Wow, excitement. Why is it a struggle, literally, to bring life into this world. How does death create life. These things are beautiful mysteries to me, and obviously, we are no longer just talking about babies.

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I found my robin hood hat. It’s floppy, green and ridiculous. I think I will be Robin Hood this summer.

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It’s very important to have a glass of wine while packing. Pinot Grigio is a decent option. And good tunes and solo dance parties. K-OS is a good pick. The recipe then is this: wine + K-OS + solo dance party = successful pack day. “….but I’m caught between a rock and a hard place...and if it ain’t broke, Don’t fix it!”

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The world is full of beautiful people. Not in the sense of external appearance, although this is certainly true too, but the heart. Ah, cheese. But it’s true. Everyone has their own beauty, you know? Et maintenant, il pleut comme une vache qui pisse. I’m blessed to know many beautiful people. And even their struggle of living this life has something...(insert appropriate adjective here) about it. The “grind of life”. I feel there is something beautiful in that: The Beautiful Grind. An inherent contradiction.

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Westjet sent me a reminder that I’m flying away tomorrow. Thanks Westjet. I had forgotten.

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I bought a new Bible today. It was a necessrie purchase. I read something that catalysed the tear ducts and this is what it was: “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind...that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for “In him we live and move and have our being’ (Acts 17:24-28).

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Some Clever Title

Hello. Again. Welcome. To my life. Again. So… wow, what to say. Well, to start with, I suppose I am departing Abbotsford as we know it for greener pastures (literally), to embark on my third round-trip to Guatemala via Ontario. For four months. Leaving in. 8 days. So this is quite standard, here you find yourself on a blog, mine I suppose, how do you like the facelift? Toning it down a bit. I must warn you in advance that I feel the blog will be less structured this year. I feel that I will not religiously update on a weekly basis. Perhaps…two days in a row, and then nothing for a while, and bad grammar and spelling mistakes if I can manage and sentence fragments and other sorts of blogging atrocities. Doesn’t that sound liberating? Let’s forget about the English major for a summer shall we.

Recap. Of the year. Ummmm. School, school and school. Church, church and church. A little Starbucks here and there, a little bit of serving, little bit of TESL. On the church note I had the privilege of serving on our young adult leadership team this year. Disregard the title, it essentially means….let’s get together to eat and talk some bible stuff. So that was great, I really enjoyed it, good people. And our young adult ministry has been exciting to be apart of, also good people, good teaching, good challenges, good things happening. School, I finished up my TESL certificate in December and this past Thursday I completed my French minor, and the upcoming fall leaves but three English courses and a completion of the BA in December. Jubilation. In short: same old same old, with a little bit of spice here and there, some new experiences, some new friendships, quite a bit of self-reflection and realization with hopefully some…productive growth. That is what we hope for precious.

Alright, enough of that. So I’m going away. And here’s a video that was taken…last summer before our departure to Guatemala. And I am as incapable of articulating my thoughts as I was then. There’s just too many on… So. Many. Levels. But. It is good. I am excited. And clearly the world is full of weird people like me. And I CANNOT WAIT to see and hug the Konrad’s and Wall’s and Miss Julianna. And her little baby hybrid girl.

video

Peace.

Kat