Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Fractured mind solid soul

This whole school year has been ups and downs. I've had a lot to go through, and at the UCC, the conunselor said that my mind was just having a rough time with it. She thinks that some of the stuff is locked away in what I call a seperate file cabinet that is hard to get at and in a sense my mind is split between the realities of daily life now and having to navigate that 'file cabinet of stuff' that contains these past 12 month's trials, but some may go way back.

Anyway, if my mind is split between these things, my soul is still solid. I remember even in the middle of these trials, I was able to reach for God and praise Him for who He is. It's like my brain is restless and fractured because of all this, but because God restores my soul, that has remained whole.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Whatever way you look at it it's all the Humanistic Perspective

I was being a nerd (surprise surprise) this morning and I was surfing the 'net' from the companion website for my Abnormal Psych textbook. The American Psychological Association (APA) website has a site relating to the general public's psychological needs. There's articles about resilience and post - traumatic strees relating to Hurricane Katrina. I checked those out to see what use they could be.

I looked at their help sections and mostly it was this:
1. Put it it perspective
2. Find stregnth within yourself
3. Find stregnth within friends
4. Find stregnth within 'spirituality' -- I know, I know, don't get me
5. Achieve personal growth from it.

Personal growth?? What does that mean? People would say 'it helped me become a better person.' Ok... Right. A better person? More compassionate? I guess.

But what about those that have another Person acting within us? This Sunday there was a message about being filled with the Spirit which was the identifying feature of someone who is a Christian. Could 'personal growth' for us translate into 'Growth in the Spirit?' YEAH!!!!!!! When I realize that I need God - when He gets me to a place where I am crying and clinging to His Word - sometimes literally - I have sat on my
bed and held my Bible like it was my favorite stuffed animal and cried and cried. I reach out and He fills me with His comfort and His peace. Then I learn to give the situation to Him and He fills me with compassion and stregnthens my faith. It's all Him. My part is to yield to Him. It's radically different than anything the APA brochures say. I don't fill myself. God fills me. My friends including believers in Christ support and encourage me allowing me to pray with them so God can do His work.

No, my future colleauges in the HDFS world and APA, it's not about 'me - me -
me and my growth.' It's about 'God - Abba - Lord - Savior and His power,
stegnth, sovereingty and Spirit.'

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Not Forsaken (Ps 27:10)

So one of my friends that was a former CSU Ram sent me this story about some kids in New Orleans that were neighbors and banded together to walk to saftey and were later reunited with their parents. It was really interesting to read especially since yesterday I read Psalm 27 for my quiet time. :) The verse, "Though my father and mother forsake me,the Lord will recieve me." touched me because I was adopted and this new story added more meaning to the verse.

I was abandoned at birth by my biological parents. I beliee then that's when the Lord stepped in and took care of me. I was born jaundice and so I could've developed liver problams or my Hepatitis B could've remained as a full stregnth disease instead of it going dormant like it has stayed for the past 20 years. He also took care of me in the health arena by not havimg me suffer much damage from having meningitis and the measles while in the Philippines.

When I was united with my mom through adoption, she tells this really cool story about how when she picked me up to hold me at the airport, I just gave her this gigantic hug and she says that I held on for 5 - 10 minutes before she was able to pull me back to see my face. Looking at that from that verse, it was like I sensed God had promised me a real mother to take care of me, raise me, and introduce me to His word and Him, and when I finally met Mom, that huge hug was probably my response to God possibly saying, "I am always faithful. I have been faithful to the promise I made to you."

For these kids in New Orleans, their apartment building could've been the one that was completely submerged or they could've been stranded, but they managed to be taken out by helicopter. Even though they were seperated from their parents, the lead child was given wisdom far beyond his years which allowed him to lead the others to safety. All along the way they could've gotten stuck in a riot, or they could've been stuck in the crowd and not made it to the authorities, but I think God was just leading them to saftey. He also put in place the volunteers at the Boys and Girls club where they stayed until their parents came for them.

God is alwyas faithful.

Friday, September 09, 2005

HDFS Spirituality - in tune with the Spirit or not??

Recently in the HDFS literature and during a conversation with my HDFS advisor, the term Spirituality was used. In both cases it seemed to be defined as the way one makes meaning out of one's life instead of a certain belief system. In both cases it seemed to be more acceptable than 'religion' which I think many in the HDFS department define as a strict standard of beliefs / moral codes originating or inspired by a divine being.

Here's more on the definition and the implications of what I call 'HDFS Spirituality.' an except of an e - mail pertaining to thit topic:
I looked in the dictionary and spirituality is defined as pertaining to a church or the spiritual demension or spirits. It pertains to something outside our world or something that connects us to something higher.

But some people in the HDFS world have made it a term to refer to a more humanistic notion of making meaning out of THIS world instead of connecting to something beyond. Of course we as Christians can make meaning of this world but it is only through engaging with God by prayer and reading his world. Anyone can follow the HDFS spirituality. If one can make sense of the world with God or not, one has attained the goal of spirituality. If one has a set of ideas that may or may not be truth, but one finds them to work, one has attained that notion of spirituality.

So, to the question: Is HDFS Spirituality in tune with the Spirit or not? The definition doesn't acknowledge Christ as author and perfector of one's faith as well as one's Savior and Guide, so one would say that the quick answer is no. But does HDFS Spirituality include Christianity? That answer is yes. Because Christianity by giving us the mission of spreading the Gospel gives us meaning to our life and God's Word helps one make sense of the world around us. But I believe Christ and the Spirit is grieved when His word and His teachings are lumped with other 'religious teachings' and given a humanistic twist.

Monday, September 05, 2005

The storm and a rainbow

I just got really really "warm fuzzies" from God :) I'll explain: Some girls on my floor were running down the hall shrieking that they were going to play in the rain. I went outside and indeed it was raining. I looked to the east of Newsom (north side) and saw a rainbow - a HUGE double rainbow!!!!!!! The rain was coming down hard, but the rainbow was just all bright and shiny!! The rain was coming down, but I could look overr and see the rainbow which is a sign of His hope and His promises

It was like God telling me it was ok. There's a major storm in my life right
now that's been blowing for close to 12 months. Two relatives of mine have
passed away and I found out that a third one has cancer. I'm also saddened by
the natural disaster that has been literally wiped away 1000's of lives. The
storm will blow, and I'm in the middle of it and I'm crying and sad but God's
like that rainbow that's there not just when the storm is over, but when the
storm is raging

I ran around the grassy area and had my hands in the air with one word going through my mind "Halleluiah." Then I just got down on my knees and looked at
the rainbow all the time thinking, "God is still good. God is still good. God
is still worthy of praise."


Friday, September 02, 2005

Race, SES, madness and Katrina

<i> I wrote this e - mail to 2 HDFS professors. </i>

Hi guys! I was mulling over some thoughts in the last few
days about race, SES, and how that all fit into the anarchy around Hurrican
Katrina especially in New Orleans. I thought you two would be interested
especially since you are both in the FAIR project.

I was able to put together these ideas coherantly during a conversation with
my mom in which I gave her rationale - not justification - for the anarchy
that has ensued. Her comment was, "I don't like how they are turning
everythign into race. 'Just because we're poor and black, the government
didn't help us.' Well, the government is doing the best they can, and nothing
excuses the looting and murdering that is going on." <-- that was Mom's

Here is my rationale: From a classmate in HD332 I learned that 30 - 40% of
people in New Orleans are at or below the poverty line. They also seem to be a
large population of people with a minority status. With that in mind, some may
have a resentment toward the larger society due to their SES and ethnicity.
The hurricane and flooding struck causing them this unexpected trauma and they
must be angry about that - loosing their house and their relatives. So they
may be angry at that for happening, and then that underlying anger spills over
as they engage in violence.

Then I said, "It doesn't make it easier - and I know what you mean by you wish
they would stop. I do too. I want them to see that they're making the
situation worse and they are causing so much more suffering, and it's just
getting worse and I feel so helpless about it all..." You guys, I was just
bawling over the phone. Stuff like this hurts. No matter what the sociologists
and us as HDFS majors and social psychologists do to make sense of it
academically, it still hurts. Hearing about it hurts, and knowing that other
people are hurting their friends and neighbors instead of bonding together in
a time of crisis makes everyone want to cry.

Well, that's a little insight from me. Comments are appreicated :)