30 December 2009

uhhh... okay

So Monday I was walking around picking up job applications from a couple places in Oxford. Yep, it's that time again: job search. I had noticed that one of my favorite cafes in town was hiring, so I was definitely going to pursue that one, but I figured I should look into as many possible opportunities as I could find. As I was walking through the Covered Market, I noticed an accessories shop that had a neon post-it note in the window "Part-time help required. Enquire within."

Okaaaaay, post-it note advertisement is a little odd, but I'll check it out. I went inside and the woman working was quite excited and immediately called the owner to set up a meeting with me the next day. I asked for an application form, but was told they didn't have one, and I should just bring in a CV if I had one. When I came back the next day, the owner gave me a brief run-down of the job, asked if I had any questions, and offered me the job. No application, no resume, no CV, no references, no interview (well, she asked me my name and how old I was, does that count?). She wanted me to start immediately. As in today.

Okay, that's the weirdest, easiest job I've ever gotten in my life. I receive.

With some conditions, that is. The owner promised all of their bookkeeping is in order. And I let her know that I had several other applications out, and that honestly, I wanted to wait and see how those interviews went. She was so eager for someone to start working that she assured me that if I did the job for a week or so and decided it wasn't for me, I could call her and tell her and it would be fine.

So... I'm going to give this ride a chance. Who knows? Stay tuned.

"All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty." Proverbs 14:23

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Colossians 3:23-24

28 December 2009

this is london

as seen through the lens of my camera.
Thanks to Ben Lee for the sweet music.

video

"Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper." Jeremiah 29:7

27 December 2009

yes please!

I have a video of my pictures from London that I've been trying to upload here, but I'm having trouble getting the size down enough that Blogger will accept it.

Until then, if I could live any kind of life, I think this would be the ultimate: click here.

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil— this is the gift of God." Ecclesiastes 3:11-14

24 December 2009

steep.

It is advent. YES. That glorious glorious season when we have intentional space to stop and steep in the insaneness of the Incarnation. That is, if we stop.
I love it.

And I love you all. I wish you a beautiful advent.

"I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people." Leviticus 26:11-12

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness." Philippians 2:5-7

"Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death- that is, the devil- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death." Hebrews 2:14-15

"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God." Revelation 21:3

06 December 2009

whirlwind

Sixteen days of adventure. That's right. I'm leaving tonight.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning: London with my friend Luke and his friend Rebecca.

Wednesday afternoon: fly from London to Brno, Czech Republic with Luke.

Wednesday night, Thursday, Friday: hang out with Luke in Brno, where he's studying this semester at Masaryk University.

Saturday morning: travel to Prague with Luke.

Saturday and Sunday: Prague.

Sunday night: Luke is going back to Brno, I am taking an overnight train to Krakow, Poland, and from Krakow to Oswiecim, Poland.

Monday: Auschwitz concentration camp (outside Oswiecim).

Monday night: night train back to Brno.

Tuesday and Wednesday morning: hang out in Brno with Luke.

Wednesday night: fly from Brno to London, then from London to Dublin to meet my friend Karen and her sister who are traveling around the UK.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: travel around Ireland and Wales with Karen and her sister.

Sunday night: arrive back at her sister's house in Reading (near Oxford).

Monday and Tuesday: hang out in Reading with them.

Wednesday: bus back to Oxford to crash at my house.

Will I survive? You'll have to wait sixteen days to find out...

Peace.

"O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me." Psalm 139:1-5

05 December 2009

dag

William Wilberforce is one of my greatest role models. Why? He saw injustice that broke the heart of God and it broke his heart too. And then he did something about it. He used the gifts God had given him and the position of government entrusted to him to declare the truth of the gospel, giving his life in a painful, prolonged sacrifice to bring freedom for captives and justice for the oppressed. And he served the Lord faithfully to the end of his life.

This week I discovered another incredible person who I want to emulate: Dag Hammarskjöld. He was the Secretary General of the U.N. from 1953 to 1961, when he was killed in a plane crash while on an emergency mission to try to negotiate a cease-fire in the Congo. He did a lot of crazy incredible things in his life (like winning the Nobel Peace Prize), worked tirelessly for peace and justice, and was greatly respected by his peers. But throughout his life, this diplomat also kept a small journal he called a "book concerning my negotiations with myself- and with God." I read part of that book this week, and in it he never once mentions the famous and powerful people he interacted with daily, or the great successes he had. Instead it reflects an astoundingly quiet, humble, thoughtful, simple, sometimes agonized man who intensely longed to do God's will. It is obvious that his incredible public and political life was shaped by the humility and intensity of his love for God and his love for people. I want to be like that.

This sentence from his heart reflects mine as well: "If only I may grow: firmer, simpler, quieter, warmer."

"Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself? Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter- when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard." Isaiah 58:5-8

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on my, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor..." Isaiah 61:1-2a

04 December 2009

the british language part two

mates=friends
holiday=vacation
note=bill
diary=planner/schedule
battels=room & board
half two=two thirty (etc.)
pudding=dessert
primary school=elementary school
secondary school=high school
fit=hot
are you all right?=how are you?
cross=angry
creche=nursery
washing up=cleaning up, doing the dishes
spot=bit
fancy=like
sweets=candy
wasp=bee
go off=expire
shattered=exhausted
dodge=sketch
chunder=puke
GP=doctor
ginger=redhead

" Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth." But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. The Lord said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other." So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel— because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth." Genesis 11:1-9

01 December 2009

top ten of the last two weeks

Life is magic. It's a beautiful, wonderful, marvelous, mysterious thing. It's definitely a rough game, and sometimes it freaks me out that it's real. I mean, it seems like a story that I'm reading from the outside and I pity the characters because there's so much uncertainty and they don't have a clue about the true meaning. But then I realize that I can't withdraw out of this terrifyingly uncertain fictional world because... well... it's not fiction. Because I'm stuck inside the story. I'm as limited as the characters I thought I could pity.

So anyway, life freaks me out and makes me feel like my brain is going to explode. But there are some really neat parts, too! Here are my top ten favorite things in the last two weeks:

10. Just being with people. Since I only had one essay to research and write this week, instead of the normal two, I was able to spend more time living life with people and just hanging out, which is precious. I had tea and a beautifully real talk with Alison, my small group leader. I hung out in the chapel for an hour after CU meeting and listened to Chris play the piano and Julia sing all these worship songs that I've never heard before because they're just not as common in the States. I sat in the Spencer House kitchen after a Sunday dinner of Thanksgiving leftovers and just enjoyed the warmth and the idle chatting and the comfortable people. I watched a movie with friends in the JCR, holding a book because it makes me feel better to pretend to do homework even when I'm not really. I had tea with Karen. I had tea with Eric. I had tea with my dear Focus girls. (Yes, me likey tea mucho.)

9. My tutor liked my economics paper. For the first time. Too bad it was my last one. Victory in Jesus! :)

8. I bought plane tickets for the Czech Republic! Luke's coming up to Britain tomorrow and then on the 9th, I'm flying back with him to the Czech Republic. I've wanted to go to Prague for so long; I'm really uber-excited. It's gonna be great.

7. Crumpets. They are divine. Similar to an English muffin, but with a slightly pancakier texture. Toasted. Thank you Rosie for changing my life.

6. Cuppers. This is the Oxford drama competition where all of the plays are directed and performed by freshers. Our very own Marchella Ward not only directed one for Regent's, but also WROTE it. And it was GOOD. Clever, swift, funny, and excellently acted. They really surprised me with how fantastic it was. I loved it! And I think half the student and faculty body of Regent's crammed into the tiny Burton Taylor studio (which I seriously think seats MAYBE forty people) to enjoy it. I love the school spirit, and they were well-rewarded for their time.

5. We took communion at chapel this week and it was beautiful. Everyone who was there gathered around the table and passed the bread and wine to one another. We all tore a piece off the same loaf of bread and took a sip from the same glass of wine, giving grace to one another as we ourselves had received it. I had to fight to keep from laughing with sheer delight as I said "the peace of Christ be with you" to someone because it was so glorious.

4. Turned in my last essay this morning at seven am. Bam. Beat that.

3. Lebanese food. I love experiencing pieces of new cultures. Eric and I were going to go to this Indian place for dinner Saturday night, but when we got there, we decided it was a little too posh for us. There was a Lebanese restaurant across the street, and neither of us had ever tried that before, so, hey, why not? It was good food and sweet fun, but the best part was that part of the menu was in Arabic and I knew three or four of the words. YES. I wish Anna could have been there. Or Rima. They would have been so proud.

2. Annie and Melody & I went to the Ashmolean on Saturday afternoon and it was super sweet. Mostly art and artifacts, but it's a world-class museum and they had some incredible stuff. We were only there for a few hours and I need to go back before I can pick some favorite things.

1. THANKSGIVING. Was amazing. So good. All of us American students at Regent's, plus a few extra friends, brought scads of traditional Thanksgiving food up to Spencer House and enjoyed it together. We ate crazy amounts of food, enjoyed being with one another and just talking and hanging out, and watched a movie. Which was perfect, because really, chilling on a couch with a bunch of friends watching a movie is one of the best ways (maybe one of the only ways) to let your body recover from eating enough food for three days.

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." 1 Chronicles 16:34