Walking in Freedom

Miscellaneous musings along the way

We Must Go July 30, 2011

Filed under: Faith — songofjoy88 @ 10:26 pm
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In my everyday life, I don’t see hunger much.  Does that mean that hunger isn’t a problem in America, or that there’s a problem with my everyday life?  Consider these facts* and decide for yourself:

  • 14.6% of U.S. households struggle to put enough food on the table. More than 49 million Americans—including 16.7 million children—live in these households.
  • Nearly one in four children is at risk of hunger. Among African-Americans and Latinos, one in three children is at risk of hunger.
  • Most Americans (51.4 percent) will live in poverty at some point before age 65.

 

And this is just in America!!  (look for info about world hunger in a future post)  While I may not want to admit it, it looks like I need to make some changes to my everyday life.  In a parable recorded in Matthew 25, Jesus says, “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in…whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

 

As you read the rest of the post, listen to this song called “God of Justice” by Tim Hughes:

 

As God is gently bringing these things to the surface, he is restructuring “my” everyday life.  (When did I get the idea that my life belonged to me anyway? Check out Luke 9:23).  The past two Wednesdays I’ve headed to the inner city to serve at a choice food pantry.  Through the course of the morning, about one hundred people/families choose groceries from our shelves to carry home- enough to eat, at least for now.  We’ve had to fill out paperwork where we record how many seniors, adults and children live in the household.  It amazes me and angers me how many single mothers there are!  Where are the men?  Where are the dads??!  Issues of broken families and generational poverty that I’ve wrestled with before are resurfacing and through the roar of chaos, I hear God’s gentle voice calling me to go – To dive into the mess, into the darkness, shining as a beacon of light that comes from the hope and love and grace that my God has shown me.

 

There’s so much more I could write, but I’ll leave you with one question.  Where is God calling you to go?

*All facts are from www.bread.org.  You may also be interested in checking out www.stopthehunger.com.

 

Sweet summer jobs July 25, 2011

Filed under: Faith,Uncategorized — songofjoy88 @ 10:29 pm
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Wow!  A whole week went by without a post… part of that has to do with the fact that I have been working!  I probably have the sweetest summer job(s) ever!  I have the opportunity to tutor a couple of motivated students in Algebra 2 and pre-algebra.  It’s so fun to work with students who want to get it and are willing to put forth the effort.  Also, the whole no disruptions thing is nice.  Basically I get paid to chill at Panera and do math with a student- good stuff!  I’m thankful to God for providing the opportunity to tutor this summer- I would much rather tutor than teacher summer school!

 

My other sweet job is with the park district.  The variety is great and it’s nice to actually have co-workers (unlike teaching where you only see adults at lunch).  So far, I’ve worked as a server at two high school reunions, a wedding and a wine tasting.  Last week, I was trained to drive the beer cart and Friday drove around the golf course for about 5 hours selling drinks!

 

When I was looking for summer jobs, I knew I wanted to do something that would be a change from teaching and my job with the parks definitely meets that criteria.  Again, I’m thankful for God’s provision.  It has been such a blessing to have a productive way to spend my time- doing my tasks at work and getting to know my co-workers and customers.  After all, life is all about relationships.  I’ve enjoyed little conversations here and there as I learn what makes my co-workers tick.  For example, one of my co-workers, a high school student, is all about money.  He was asking me last week about how much “extra” money you have when you’re working and on your own.  This reminded me of a previous conversation we had about the drive to get more money and I asked him when he would know he had enough.  The exact details of the conversations aren’t important.  I just think it’s neat that I have an opportunity to invest in the lives of people who don’t share the same motivations as me.  It remind me of Paul’s words in Acts 17:26-28–> From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.  God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.  ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’  This also reminds me of a sweet song by Flame.  Check it out as you finish reading this post. 🙂

Yum! 2 steaks, salad, mixed veggies, vegetarian alfredo pasta and a rye roll!

The free food I get isn’t bad either!  If any of you have ever worked food service, you know that any food that was out has to be thrown away… even if there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.  Well, if we have leftovers from the buffet, we fix up some nice to-go meals like the one in the picture (after eating our dinner during our shift).  And just this last week, I got BBQ ribs… yum!  So, not only am I getting paid (albeit close to minimum wage), I’m saving on groceries… and having a good time at work!

 

I’m reminded of James 1:17 which says “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. ”  Thank you to The One who is giving me these summer jobs as gifts!  May my actions as I work bring glory to my steadfast God.

 

 

 

 

Remote Control July 18, 2011

Filed under: Faith — songofjoy88 @ 11:26 pm
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This poem/rap is a product of me processing some things God was revealing to me.  Hope you enjoy it!

I push one button
Then all of a sudden
The images flash
It’s a visual mish-mash
Plenty of drama and lies
A feast for my eyes
But it’s all a disguise
Could that button be my demise?

 

Flip to the news
Should be a safe channel to choose
But it’s just more drama
People complainin’ about Obama
Despite the fact that we got Osama
Get caught up in the chatter
Speculation about stuff that doesn’t matter
I think I’m getting informed- getting wise
But they’re feeding me lies
Could this be the road to compromise?

 

In my hand- the remote, I hold
My TV is remote controlled
But does the remote control my TV
Or is my remote control controlling me?

 

If it were up to me, I wouldn’t want to know the answer
My addiction to TV can be like a cancer
Invading every part of me
Penetrating the heart of me
But because God pardoned me
I can be more than partly free.

 

Now within me His Spirit dwells
No more looking to empty wells
And because of that my soul swells
up inside of me.
The Holy Spirit resides in me
No, I’m not controlled by a button
My God takes hold of me
He’s the one in control of me.
He’s always close to me
I’m done with being controlled remotely.

 

Still reason to celebrate? July 17, 2011

Filed under: Sports — songofjoy88 @ 9:08 pm
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Yes, it was a disappointing loss for the U.S.A., but I am glad for Japan.  After the devastating earthquake/tsunami that hit earlier this year, I think the country was in desperate need to have something they could celebrate!  After all, pity parties really aren’t that fun.  Of course relief efforts will need to continue in Japan, but now the rest of the world can join them in this celebration (or you have the option of being a sore loser dwelling in the cave of “could-have-been’s”).  I choose to celebrate.

 

I shared these sentiments with one of the new “friends” I made (in quotes because I’ll probably never see her again) while watching the game at BW’s and she seemed to agree.  While the outcome  of the game was not what I was hoping, I told her, “If we’re gonna lose in the final, it should be to a country that needs the win more than we do.”

 

To liven up your celebration, enjoy this cultural tidbit from Japan.  Her dance moves may be a little lacking, but I think the bubble gun more than makes up for it.  Enjoy!  Congrats to Japan and great work U.S. women!

 

Eggs-ellent! July 15, 2011

Filed under: Food — songofjoy88 @ 10:02 am
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One of the many things that’s nice about summer is I have a lot more time I can spend in the kitchen making tasty meals!  Recently I’ve been enjoying making different things with eggs.

First, here’s an omelet with: onions (frozen chopped), red and yellow peppers, mushrooms, cheddar cheese (mixed into the eggs before cooking).

Sautee the onions, peppers and mushrooms (until the onions are clear and some slightly browned)

 

Pour the egg, cheese mixture over the veggies (can also add a little milk to eggs before pouring in the skillet, if you want.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brunch is served! Omelet with salsa served with pineapple and cottage cheese on the side!

If you're not afraid to try something different, how about a watermelon, blueberry, spinach, ice smoothie?? very refreshing- healthy too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients for the omelet: fresh spinach, cherry tomatoes, rosemary, cheddar cheese (to add to eggs before cooking)... the bacon was cooking while I chopped thse up!

Mmmm... cooking up the ingredients before adding the egg/cheese mixture!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Omelet (turned scrambled eggs) #2

 

 

Omelet #2 was very tasty, but it turned into scrambled eggs because I added a little too much milk and it didn’t all stick together.

 

Now it’s your turn… see what creative omelet you can whip up! 🙂

 

That Girl July 12, 2011

Filed under: Relationships — songofjoy88 @ 9:54 pm
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A while back, I posted a video on facebook about women having high standards for men when it comes to dating/marriage.  Just in case you missed it, here it is again:

While she does have very high expectations, her desire to wait for a man who truly pursues God is commendable.  She holds the same expectations for herself as a woman, expressing a desire to be like notable women in the Bible.

As a follow up, I think you’ll enjoy this song by R-Swift called “That Girl.”  I’ll let his words speak for themselves.

What do you think?  What are reasonable expectations for men to have for women in relationships?  and vice-versa?  Is it possible to expect too much and even start to see yourself as a martyr for the cause of singleness?  How tightly should we hold on to our expectations?  Would it help to know God’s perspective on all this?

 

Colorful Colorado July 9, 2011

Filed under: Colorado — songofjoy88 @ 5:33 pm
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Probably the easiest way to summarize my vacation out in Colorado is to post some photos with captions.  If you want to know/see more, you’ll have to talk to me. 🙂  Here we go…

Walking out of the terminal at the DIA, there were thousands of folded paper cranes pinned to the wall. So while other people were cruising along on the moving sidewalk, I had to slow up to take a picture!

A rose from my grandparents' garden 🙂 ...one of their many beautiful roses

A ladybug walking upside down on a bug covered plant at the top of Green Mountain- where I went on a hike with my cousin!

Driving up to the mountain house we rented in Winter Park... gorgeous! 🙂


the view from Berthoud Pass (elevation 11,307 feet... yeah, I got high on vacation!)

The walls (and tables) in a pizza place called Hernando's... covered with decorated dollar bills- somewhere around 20,000 total!!!!

Unreflected beautiful Colorado sunset taken from the wrap-around balcony of the house where we stayed.

Sunset reflection off the new Honda pilot

As promised, here's a picture from when we went alpine sliding. Sooooo much fun! Spent most of the day riding the lift and blazing down the mountain on a winding concrete chute riding a sled-like cart with wheels... until I bumped one of the employees who was riding in front of me- oops!

Hiking through Narnia as winter turns to spring 🙂 Much of the trail was covered with snow and mud, so we couldn’t go all the way to the lake

Enjoying a game of Steal Scrabble... I managed alright this round!

All good things must come to an end... looking out the back window on the drive home through Kansas. We started our drive on July 4th, so we got to see fireworks glittering over little towns! 🙂