Lady Jane

Well, you know how sometimes when you fall in love with a movie when you’re younger and you go back and watch it again when you’re older it can completely change? That’s how Lady Jane is being for me tonight. I feel in love with the story in High School… monarchies, two main characters that hate each other, beheadings… good setting for a stellar romance 🙂  But I’m realizing that a lot of the plot is actually driven by the political unrest of England at this time period.  And the political unrest was driven solely by the religious unrest.  Jane, played stunningly by Helena Bonham Carter is a firm advocate of the reformed church, but devotes her life to study and prayer… her wayward and unwanted husband, Guilford, is the third son of a very prominent political figure (think Dudley’s of Robert Dudley/Elizabeth fame) who drowns his heartache of the unrest and his inabilities to do anything about it every night in pitchers (yes pitchers) of wine and ale.  Put them together and you come up with an explosive combination just waiting to rebel against their parents (who think they are both controllable) and, as Guilford puts it, put the heart and mind together to propose some real, effective changes in the monarchy (a throne which Jane holds for all of 9 days, considering when you have good ideas to make things better for all, the people who have it best now rarely let you stay in control).

Anyway, I thought I’d share some thoughts as I had them… I just got done watching a scene were Guilford very condescendingly (they don’t like each other yet) tells Jane what the “state of the union” is.  He explains that money no longer has value and the so-called-saints of this reformation movement are the reason.  When Jane asked what the peasants outside the gate wanted and why they were idle, why they weren’t working, Guilford explains that those “saints” that came in and overthrew the monastaries (where the peasants had been allowed to farm so they didn’t have to beg) they took all the idols and icons and adorned their own homes with them, fenced in the farm land so the poor could have no access to it, and then branded those who dared to beg when they no longer had a means by which to obtain food.  When Jane tries to defend the principals of the reformation, he claims he has no interest.  She is shocked he has no care for his soul.  He states he cannot understand a religion that would triffle over the number of sacriments but ignore the plight of those people whose “souls” they claim to care so much for… and he tells her that she’s all head, and that all head is useless unless wrapped up in a little bit of heart…  

Don’t worry… it’s not one sided… while he has some good points, he understands she probably does, too and eventually putting her head and his heart together will end up with good results…

I’ve paused the movie to type up that much, but I know I’ll want to type more… for example… Guilford has just asked Jane to explain the principals she clings to… here’s how that goes…

Jane says it’s our belief that faith only saves….  that we shall come to God only if we believe in christ…

Guilford:  Not by the church?

Jane:  Not by the church.  And that all superstitions, ornamental relics and icos and images and such…

One of her biggest arguements is with the sacrament of the eucharist:  That the bread and wine are transformed to the actual body and blood of Christ… she claims that it’s not… her catch phrase?  “He also said ‘I am the vine, I am a door.’ Was he a vine, was he a door?”

A statement that ultimately gets her beheaded…. doesn’t go over so well with Catholic Cousin Mary (of the Bloody Mary, Queen Mary fame)

One of my favorite lines from the movie is actually a quote by Plato and the last thing the movie leaves you with…

“The Soul takes flight, to the world that is invisible.  But there arriving is sure of bliss, and will forever dwell in paradise.”

Thats all I have to say right now… Dwelling too much more makes me sad… two young lives used “in the name of God” to perpetuate the greedy, self preservation of a few.  Truly, the movie just gets down right depressing from this point forward… I should stop watching it.

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Randomness

Well, lots of random things going on in my head at the current moment… thought I’d share:

1.  I’ve been working on this painting for a little while.  Not sure it’s going to turn out… not sure crackling agent was meant for canvas art… we’ll see

2.  I’m suppossed to be the third writer for this funny movie review for the e-newsletter I edit… the other two parts are finished and HILARIOUS (at least in my opinion)… I’m NOT a funny person and I’m definately not a funny writer.  When I write anything I think is even close to presentable for the public eye it’s more serious, NOT funny… I may not do my part and call it done with the two other authors.

3.  Lost is like crack… I finished season 2 today… I want to catch up on Season 3, but I’m not sure when/how that’ll happen… I’ve been flying through them for plot, but one of the things I most like about the show is it’s not all plot.  There are whole episodes that don’t advance the plot very much at all (good grief, it’s been 2 seasons and they’ve been on the island for 65 days?  talk about slow moving… but it’s not)… but these episodes that aren’t plot driven really have some meaning behind it… One of the characters suffers a real crisis of faith (not in a god, but just faith) in season 2 and there’s one episode in particular where a lot of the action revolves around this discussion of where the faith comes from and how one looses it… All in all they deal with some pretty deep issues and I need to go back and rewatch them for more depth… I know, I know… people get drawn into all this, but I think there’s something to it a little bit…

4.  I had a discussion with a friend today about the Christmas season… He’s a bit cynical right now… not really in the Christmas spirit… I am… we had to agree to disagree… I love this time of year… my roommate is very excited about Advent right now… I’m not entirely certain what advent is, except I do know that it is the period of time in the church where we are anticipating Christmas… I’m glad to see her enthusiasm… it’s contagious…

5.  I had a good dinner with her tonight… she told me the fun thing about waiting that she read in one of her advent devos… it sounded like it was very good…

6.  I need to stop chatting at work… several reasons… I’d get more work done for one, but really the biggest reason is I think I’m being used… not intentionally, but I think I’m providing a safe place for this person to let down his guard and a safe person with whom he can be intimate… without the fear of all the mess of real intimacy b/c it’s on the computer… however, that’s not how it works… there’s still emotion and still want and still expectation… and the bad form of waiting… involved.  It is still a human being typing the words after all…  I’m being very guarded again, but I was when all this started in October and things came to a bit of a head (and not in a good way) a couple of weeks ago… I know me… I’m not good at guarding for long… and when I get the chance to have dinner with my roommate and just talk and she asks what’s new and all I can think to talk about is work (and there’s not much to say about that) and these converstations I have on chat?  When things like discussing advent want to make me pipe up and say, “Yeah, Jason and I talked about Advent as well today…” ?  That’s not a healthy place to be.

7.  I took the night off from small group tonight… I can’t decide if I’m finally settling into a slower, healthier pace, or a lazy one… I do know I’m still too tired most of the time and that’s not cool at all…  I’ve been enjoying having nights just at home, though… it feels kind of normal… but it also feels safe… it’s a hard place to be… wars inside and all… I want to meet someone and get married one day, but I simultaneously want to be happy home by myself… I want to build and grow the relationships I’m in, but I simultaneously want to protect my free time… I guess it’s all about setting good boundaries and living within them… Though I do wonder how I’m ever going to meet a guy sitting at home… maybe I should order in more Pizza?

8.  I’ve actually been making it to bed at a decent hour, so I think that’s it for this post… I should go read some of my small group book… I’m going to be even more behind next week if I don’t get a move on 🙂

Thanksgiving Reflections

My family has really never been one to reflect on Thanksgiving.  We don’t have a “thankfulness journal,” we don’t go around the table saying one thing we’re thankful for, in all reality we don’t really bring up the main point of this holiday much at all.  Recently I’ve found reason to really reflect more on the idea of thanksgiving.  For the November issue of the e-newsletter that I edit I wrote an article about being thankful for the simple fact that we CAN be thankful.  This has been a hard year for many of the people surrounding me and there have been moments this past year where I’ve gotten to the brink of feeling hopeless.  But through it all, it amazes me that we have a power within us that transcends these worldly situations and this power also allows us to be thankful in the midst of these situations.  (I’ve also been contemplating the meaning of worship and the idea that we still are called to give praise in the midst of the depths of despair… quite amazing…
Bethany summed it up quite well for me earlier this week:  Worship isn’t about us or for us.)  Sorry side note
J

Anyway:  in the midst of this reflection I thought I’d give my “thankful list.”  Rather than the “12 days of Christmas,” I’ll give my 12 blessings of Thanksgiving.

  1. My friends:  they always make me remember there’s something for which to be thankful
  2. My roommate, who always reminds me there is Hope
  3. Kids of all ages:  they make me remember there’s something left to love in this world
  4. Family:  when they’re in good moods or bad.
  5. Changing seasons:  It is a tangible representation of the fact that change can be very good.
  6. Music:  Whether to entice relaxation, anticipation, joy, or any other emotion, music is one art form that has the ability to invoke great emotion within me.
  7. The fact that I am able to work:  I may not always enjoy with unquestionable enthusiasm, but the fact that I have skills and have a job is something for which I am very grateful.
  8. My Jr. High fuel group:  For an age group that I always professed I would never work with, God has really given me a heart for girls going through the struggles of this time in their lives.

  9. West Side Christian Church:  I don’t know what all God has in store for me in my life, but I’m so glad he chose this time and this place for me. 
    West Side has been a place where I’ve received such encouragement and support and where I’ve been able to grow so much.
  10. The means to buy those I love presents.  I think I’ve discovered that gift giving is one of my top “giving” love languages.
  11. Christmas time.  Even though I no longer get the excited butterflies in my stomach, it is still such a joyful time.  I get particularly excited about serving at this time of year.
  12. Memories and traditions:  Some are not all that happy, but the majority are, and for that I consider myself quite blessed.  For example: The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade:  Some of my fondest memories of Thanksgiving revolve around watching the parade.  It makes me feel like a kid again.

Cincinnati

I am so excited about this weekend.  I’m not really ready to leave.  I feel like I’ve just started to slow down enough to absorb what’s going on.  I just spend 35 minutes on the phone recanting different stories and points from various workshops or main sessions to my mom.  I’m really loving hearing different stories from different people.  And tomorrow we only have one more session.  I don’t know.  I’m so grateful that we got to come to this conference (in case I’ve forgotten to mention, I’m at the Youth Specialties National Youth Workers Convention), but I’m sad it’s going to be over. 

Some fun things from the travel journal:

1.  Bethany had her 1st order of ribs and her 1st taste of Prime Rib–Which she can NEVER have again, as she didn’t think it was amazing.

2.  We all wore bibs at the rib place, even if we weren’t having ribs

3.  Elizabeth threw her water from her water bottle at Chris

4.  Chris’s cell phone got ran over

5.  Melissa was on the top floor and dropped her room key down the elevator shaft

6.  Kara won things* (see bottom of post)

7.  Nevel says- “we shall only boast in Jesus Christ.”  (Elizabeth is beating him in fantasy football 🙂 )

8.  Boys Rule and girls Drool:  they stayed up later than we did…. and then slept through the serman

7.  the fantasy football dance (which Elizabeth and Bethany made up because Elizabeth is winning fantasy… so is Kara btw… she’s probably…. wait, why am I talking about myself in the 3rd person?  I’m probably going to jump to #1 in my league… go me!!!!!!!!!)

8.  The X-Box commercial

9.  Chinese Seminar Fire drill (Ask me, I could never explain)

10.  Bethany asked for more ribs for dessert

11.  Chris gave his backpack (and his watch) to a homeless guy

12.  the waiter told Bethany she had “good follow through” with her ribs… and then signed the travel journal… A+ Effort 🙂

13.  the waiter brought EW and my dessert with candles and everyone sang happy birthday to me (except chris who sang it to “sarah”) even though it’s not my birthday, and the little boy at the next table sang to me and wished me a happy birthday, too….

Top “session” points:

1.  we are all “Mufasa’s son”s… AMAZING message… i loved it

2.  Great story about Ann, Scott, and Janet… ask me…

3.  Marco’s session this afternoon

4.  The lady who spoke on Ministering to Middle School girls is a lady I’d like to become

5.  The Greek guy from England was HILARIOUS and had some wonderful points as well

6.  The seminary prof spoke on Luke 2:41-52, my favorite story about Jesus, and focused his attention on Mary “hiding these things in her heart,” which I love… also about the amazement of Mary and Joseph when they found Jesus… very cool

Some highlights from the exhibits:

1.  Danny Ray knew I’d pick the 3 of hearts and say RED before I picked my card

2.  50% off at the Innervarsity booth

3.  30 % off at THINK books (I got a purple copy of the message 🙂 )

4.  Matthew Paul Turner signing FREE copies of his book What you didn’t learn from your parents about SEX.

5.  Talking the the Icthus music festival people, they were very encouraging

6.  One of the booths had students who’d actually used their curriculum there talking about it…

7.  SPIN CYCLE Tee-Shirts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Funny inside story here 🙂

Favorite parts of the weekend on whole:

1.  “Lion King” prophesising

2.  David Crowder Band

3.  My new compasion child, Miriam

4.  Tons of free stuff and tons of discounts has me coming home with a crap load of new books, cds and dvds

5.  GREAT people!

6.  Jars of Clay sang “Oh, my God”

7.  Bethany laughing about the crazy guy and the pig story

Most random moment of the trip:

~ Weird old dude hitting on Bethany on the street

Fun Things Category (from Saturday night… warning… pushing the line of appropriateness… if you don’t want to read skip)

~ Topic:  Things you WOULDN’T call a book for Jr. High Ministry

1.  High School Ministry 101

2.  What you DID learn from your parents about sex

3.  You’re Weird and Nobody Likes You

4.  How to Touch Kids (by Michael Jackson?)

5.  How to be Ambiguously Gay

6.  Jesus and the 12 Boy-Toys?

7.  What are Boobs?

8.  Playboy:  games for Jr. High Boys

9.  How to hide your student’s porn from their parents

10.  Stop that or you’ll go blind

Obsession

So I’ve found a new obsession:  Lost on DVD.  I’ve seriously been watching it every free moment I have.  And then some moments when I sould probably be sleeping.  It’s really good.  I’ve heard that people really get into it and read tons of stuff into it.  like all the numbers… and John Locke’s name… and Jack’s last name, Shepard… ah, here I go 🙂

I went and saw Stranger Than Fiction this weeknd.  It was really good!  I want to go see it again!  It had some good spiritual aspects about the role of providence or fate but also had some just plain fun stuff, like really nailing home the distinction between tragedy and comedy.  It cracked me up when Dustin Hoffman’s character was asking Will Farrell’s character the list of literature questions!  Over all it was a really good story with a pretty good moral about actually LIVING your life.  Totally goes along with my current life theme… how do you make the most of the time we have…  Intentionality… I’m going to have lunch with Melissa on Thursday to talk more about this and I’ll see Glynnis this Thursday as well, so hopefully we’ll get some good action points.

Intentional

So, I havn’t really figured out the best ways to be intentional yet, but I’m trying.  I’m trying to figure out what exactly it is I want out of life and how I go about doing that.  I’ve been exhausted lately, which both my doctor and my counselor have said is due to having an overly busy schedule.  I’ve tried to lessen that.  I’ve completely ended my Monday night committments and have made my Thursday night committment more finite.  Hopefully that will be done by January and I’ll just have busy nights on Tuesday and Wednesday.  I really considered giving up my small group, but I just can’t do it.  I love the girls in the group too much and I feel too refreshed when I’ve spent good time with them.

I’m also going to try being better about bed times.  I realize I’m getting pretty on to that time now, but I want to try to be in bed ready to sleep by 11:00 every night. 

I’m also trying to be more disciplined about money, though that hasn’t been going too well lately.  It’s another time thing.  I need to find time to try to reconcile my checkbook and then reconcile my spending with my budget.  I have been keeping all of my receipts so I can do that, but I haven’t had time to sit down and do anything about it yet.

I’m also trying to actively work on building relationships and pursuing new or renewing old relationships.  I’m having a dinner party at my apartment on Friday night.  Unfortnately, the guest list has gotten pretty big (over 50) so I’m really hoping only about 20% of those invited show up.  Right now I’m at about 15% confirmed, so.  My RSVP deadline is tomorrow.  It’s a pretty good mix right now between people I generally hang out with and people I don’t hang out with a lot.  I’m hoping at least one of my co-workers takes me up on the offer however.  We’ll see

Well, I guess that’s what I have to say about that for now.  I’m going to head up to bed to meet that 11:00 deadline.  (I kinda wish we didn’t need sleep) 🙂