Thursday, April 24, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #103: Every Breath You Take

Today's Video: "Asthma"

Discuss/Describe if God were the air you breathe, would you be thriving or suffocating today? 

I think I am probably somewhere in the middle. In some areas, I am not living up to the standard, while in others I am at least there. I could do a lot better though. 

Mostly I am confused at what the standard should be. I have a tendency to fall into the legalism trap and set the bar too high - like when I used to chastise myself for yawning in chapel. Other times I get complacent and settle for less than I should, because at least my life is in a place where I can control what happens and thus feel safe. I think I am a little afraid of going all-out for God, because I have known some people who were like that, and it seemed like they talked about nothing else but God, or at least worked God into every conversation. They were also really happy in a way that felt fake to me for some reason, even though it could've been genuine for all I know. I know God is supposed to be part of every part of our lives (Colossians 3:17, 23-24), but at the same time I don't want to sound like my religion is the only thing I'm interested in. I'm a geek; I have geeky obsessions. I can talk all day about linguistics or literature or Pokémon or Doctor Who. I can't do that with God. Even though I have the knowledge (thanks to years of Christian school and church), I can't get myself to talk about God enthusiastically like that. We are supposed to share the Gospel with boldness and stuff, but I can't. I'm not an evangelist. Even on spiritual gifts tests I don't score high for evangelist. (Though missionary was #2 on one of them). Usually my #1 is Knowledge. Which is basically collecting knowledge. The handout for this class on spiritual gifts that I took defines it as "to discover, accumulate, analyze and clarify information and ideas that are pertinent to the growth and well-being of the Body." And I do love to do research; I always have. But all Christians are supposed to witness (that's the Great Commission), and I haven't been doing great with that. I tend to hide that I'm even a Christian, to the point that people are surprised to find out I am one. That's not good. Jesus said we should not hide our light under a bushel. 

I need help. But I'm not sure where to turn for that. I guess it would help if I had the support of Christians. I haven't really been part of a Bible study or anything in a while. After I started at my current job, my schedule was so unpredictable that I stopped going to the college group mid-week meetings, and I haven't been part of a small group in a long time, except for the Chi Alpha meetings I went to my last year at CSUSM. CSUSM has a InterVarsity chapter, but I had gotten burned out by InterVarsity already at Mira Costa. The weekly meetings weren't feeding me as I'd like, although the Bible studies and the retreats were great. 

My current church, The Rock, has a discipleship school called Impact 195. I've considered trying it, but the idea that I might have to go on an overseas missions trip at the end scares me a little. Yes, me, whose #2 spiritual gift was Missionary on that one test. Mainly I'm worried I'll want to go on those trips for the wrong reason - namely to travel abroad, as I've always wanted to do but never have. There's nothing wrong with wanting to travel, of course, but on a missions trip, it's not about you, it's about the people you're going to minister to. I realize in retrospect that this sort of worry is probably pretty stupid, and is probably just me worrying over too many details. Besides the main trip I had that worry over - North Coast's college group's trip to Romania - was just about helping out at a camp that teaches kids English, which is something I could totally have done. I should try it. It might do me good. That is, if my schedule allows me to commit to it properly. That's the rub; with my current schedule situation and lack of a car, it's really hard to plan anything.

God please help me...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #102: Less Than The Best

Today's Video: "Airport Turkey"

Discuss/Describe an area of your life where you are currently settling for less than God has for you. 

I feel like my whole life is like this quite frankly. Though I'm hesitant to say my job, cause I got that after quite a bit of effort and prayer. It wasn't the best job for me skills-wise (I'm really overqualified for it), but at that point I was desperate. It does, however, pay decent, has security thanks to it being union, and has excellent health insurance. So for the time I was in school it was a good job.

If I could push myself to trust God more, to take more risks and to not worry so much about what others think, I might not settle so much. God wants us to have an abundant life, after all. And mine doesn't feel abundant right now. :(

I want adventure in the great wide somewhere
I want it more than I can tell
And for once it might be grand
To have someone understand
I want so much more than they've got planned.
--Beauty and the Beast, "Belle (Reprise)"

Betcha on land they understand
Bet they don't reprimand their daughters
Bright young women
Sick of swimmin', ready to stand!
And ready to know what the people know
Ask them my questions and get some answers
Like "What's a fire and why does it"--what's the word?--" burn?"
When's it my turn?
Wouldn't I love, love to explore that shore up above?
Out of the sea, wish I could be
Part of that world.
--The Little Mermaid, "Part of Your World"

Why do all my dreams extend
Just beyond the riverbend?
--Pocahontas, "Just Beyond The Riverbend"

I'm almost there, I'm almost there
People 'round here think I'm crazy
But I don't care
Trials and tribulations, I've had my share
But that ain't gonna stop me now 
Cause I'm almost there.
I remember Daddy told me
"Fairy tales can come true.
But you gotta make 'em happen,
It all depends on you."
So I work real hard each and every day
And things for sure are going my way.
--The Princess and the Frog, "Almost There"

"Believing in even the possibility of a happy ending is a very powerful thing.
-- Mary Margaret Blanchard, Once Upon a Time

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #101: There in the Clutch

Today's Video: "Star Player"

Discuss/Describe someone that always comes through for you in the clutch situations.

My parents come through for me in a clutch, I think, though I don't always appreciate that they do.

I think I come through in a clutch to people at work, cause I always try to help out. Miyuki in particular has expressed her appreciation of me doing this. Actually I learned how to blow up balloons because of this. (Patricia the HABA girl was manning the balloon station one year the day of the nearby high school's graduation, and I was bored and asked if she needed help). I also try to help people on the bus who aren't sure how to get somewhere, cause I've been riding the bus for 10+ years. 

I could probably do better though...

Monday, April 21, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #100: Slime

Today's Video: "Slime and Snake"

Discuss/Describe what is the “slime trail” that you are leaving behind you.

Probably the bad tendency I've developed of gossiping and of talking bad about people behind their back. If anything would leave a trail, that would. Cause that affects people whether I mean for it to or not. "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" is a lie. Like Thumper from Bambi said, if you can't say something nice, best to say nothing at all. 

I can't undo what I've done in the past, but hopefully I can work on ridding myself of that slime in future. The Bible says, "Do unto others what you would have them do unto you," and I certainly wouldn't want someone talking trash about me behind my back or gossiping about me. So why would I do it to other people? Sadly, I think it's because a lot of people at my work do it, and I want to fit in. Yeah, that badly. That needs to change.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #99: Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone!

Today's Video: "Empty Tomb - Easter Sunday"

Discuss/Describe whether you believe what Jesus said in God’s Word, or you pick and choose what you want to believe. What are some areas in your life where you compromise?

I do believe what Jesus said, but I know I don't always practice what I preach. I compromise on trying to fit in the most of all. Oh and not trusting God enough.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #98: Being Misunderstood

Today's Video: "Hermes"

Discuss/Describe a previous conversation where you tried to explain yourself, but kept being misunderstood? Was it because "how you said it" was not matching "what you were saying"?

Well there are times I haven't been understood because of a language barrier - like I tried to speak Spanish to someone at work and failed, mainly cause I didn't know all the words in Spanish for what I wanted to say in English.

But there are probably definitely times I have tried to explain myself and been misunderstood. I often think of what I'm saying as I'm saying it, rather than before. So something that sounds good in my head might not sound so good out loud. Same with thoughts - I tend to vocalize my thoughts (it's an Asperger's thing), which means sometimes I say things out loud that I didn't mean to say out loud.

So it has happened, yes.

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #97 (Catchup): Thorns

Video: "Crown of Thorns"

Discuss/Describe the “crown of thorns” in your life that is breaking God’s heart.

Well I haven't been trusting him like I should the last several years. I haven't been letting him control and guide my life. And I've probably caused myself a lot of unnecessary stress and pain because of it. And yet I am afraid to let go, because it's a risk and I don't know what's going to happen if I do. It could be scary. I like to be able to predict the outcome of things, or reasonably predict them.

I hadn't thought of that being like a crown of thorns though. Freaky!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #96: Gone But Not Forgotten

Today's Video: "Unknown Soldier"

Discuss/Describe the good deeds that God has produced in your life. Now give praise to God, who is the author of the good in your life and remember His goodness to you.

I have been able to help people at my various workplaces. I have been able to help people by explaining things. I help when asked and when not. I am kind (most of the time); I try to be at peace with everyone, to not cause any drama. I try to be loyal to my friends. 

Thank you God, for the goodness in my life. Help me to recognize it more often and to give you praise for it.