Monday, December 11, 2006


It's the end of the semester and I am feeling completely empty. I've given all I have and there is really nothing left inside of me. Which sucks because I have my theology final tomorrow morning, a 7 page paper due Friday, and I need to work at the church all day Wednesday. The worst part of all of this is that I preached yesterday- empty. I don't like doing that. Yesterday, I learned what a hard day is- two long meetings, preaching two services, and very little down time. My body has not even registered that I slept 8 hours last night. I don't know where to go from here.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Friends are amazing

This is a picture from my birthday celebration last Friday night. I have some of the most wonderful friends! I love them! I am so blessed by their friendship.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Today is my birthday- the big 26! It's been kind of a strange day, but turned out to be fun. I wasn't sure if people would remember my birthday, since it always seems to fall at inconvienent times (Turkey day, during break, right after break). But, people were super great to me today which made me feel good. I just can't believe I'm really 26.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Give Thanks

I'm leaving for the airport soon- headed to Dayton, OH for Thanksgiving with my family. I can't wait to get there! There is so much for us to be thankful for this year- the birth of Micah (my cousin's new baby born about a week and half ago) and my aunt's successful recovery from cancer. I think this year will be very special for us, although it will be different. We will go to Donna's house rather than eating at our family's house, but it will be wonderful to be all together! I am so thankful for family! I've been thinking about the song "Give Thanks" lately-
Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because God's given Jesus Christ, the Son.
I do indeed give thanks with my grateful heart for new life. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I have finished my CPE application for the program at Kettering Medical Center in Dayton, OH. It is in the envelope ready to be mailed tomorrow! I really want to get into this program- my aunt and uncle live in Dayton and have offered to let me live there this summer. It's a great hospital and from what I've read, it's a great program. I pray this works out and it is where God is calling me this summer.

I am such a planner. I have great plans for what I want to do. I carefully make sure all my paperwork or applications are finished and organized. My calendar is my life- I would be very lost without it! I like knowing what is coming up, so I can plan ahead to get things done. However, I really do like surprises. When I first took the Myers-Briggs, I was a "P". But, as I get older, I find myself much more of a "J". It's strange. My mom is a strong "J" and my dad is a very strong "P". I don't know....

I wonder if we should have plans? Have we ever really stopped to think our plans may not be the right ones?

Friday, October 27, 2006

Random thoughts on a Friday night

I saw this incredible movie tonight- Catch a Fire. It's all about the freedom fighters in South Africa during apartheid. It is a really powerful movie and I would recommend it to everyone! Totally worth the $8.50 to see it in the theater.
My sermon last Sunday went really well. Preaching is such a high for me. The sermon finally came together in the way I wanted it by the 11:00 service. It reminded me of why I want to do this for the rest of my life. Not that I want to be the center of attention in the pulpit, but sharing the Word of God with the people of God. This is my call. Sometimes, in the midst of papers and exams and stress, I forget my call. It's nice to be reminded.
It has been a hard couple of weeks for my family. My aunt was diagnosed with kidney cancer, and went in for surgery on Oct 12th to remove the tumor. That surgery went well, but she developed two blood clots in her lungs. She had to stay in the hospital until the 19th. She was in a hosptial in Columbus and she lives in Dayton. She went home on the 19th, but was rushed to the emergency room in Dayton two days later with severe pain. It turns out she was bleeding internally. She was in ICU for two days. She is home now. The bleeding has stopped, but she is on bed rest for the next three weeks, and on lots of medication for pain. It's been really scary. No one in my family has ever survived cancer, but my aunt might just be the first one! She will become a grandmother for the first time in just about two weeks- that will be a joyous event! Her condition has been in the back of my mind these past three weeks. It shaped my thought process and it was hard to keep focused. I think my mom was scared to think her big sister might not make it. It's hard to see someone who has been such a vital part of your life go through so much pain and suffering. I am incredibly thankful that she is on her way to recovery and rejoice that I will see her in a few weeks for Thanksgiving. It will truly be a day of great thanks!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I Am Not A Deep Thinker

I'm working on a sermon for this Sunday. It's on Job 38. I had it all locked up and ready to go, but then I got to thinking about it more...that's always a dangerous thing! The conventional notion is that Job remained faithful and showed amazing patience. However, I realized Job does indeed get upset with God. Now, I need to make some significant changes to the sermon. I am also preaching it in my class on Thursday, which honestly, makes me more nervous than the congregation. I think I put a lot of pressure on myself to try and have the perfect answers all the time in class, and often times I fail miserably. I feel inadequate a lot of the time here. I declared to a friend last week that I was not a deep thinker. I failed to look behind me and if I had, I would have seen my Theology professor there. He gave me a really hard time for that comment- even in the lecture that morning! It is hard to be in this place, with these people, and not feel a sense of inadequacy. I wonder if I will ever move beyond these thoughts that run through my mind every single day?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New Beginnings

These past few days I've been reflecting on new beginnings. It is the start of the new semester at seminary and my course load is heavy, but all things I am genuinely interested in. I'm taking Theology I, Exegesis of Matthew, Contemporary Homiletics, along with interning at a church for my supervised ministry. There is an incredible amount of reading involved for Theology and Homiletics, and just plain work for Greek. What a wonderful time for learning to balance my life: class work, reading, church time, time for Sabbath and friends. Life is starting to get interesting now.

I'm happy about being at my church. There is so much I want to learn and participate in, so I need to learn how to properly set my office hours and stick with them. This is a nearly impossible task for pastors, but I am hoping as a pastoral intern I can do it. I'm really jazzed about having the opportunity to work with an emerging young adult ministry program. This is an area that makes me feel passionate about the work of God. My passion is here- being on the journey with fellow young adults, preaching and teaching the Word. There is a real richness here and I want to help cultivate it in them and also in myself. What a invaluable experience this next year of my life will be!

The other area of new beginnings is my dad's search for a new call. He called last night to share with me a list of churches seeking new staff members. I like three of the five places he mentioned. I am earnestly praying for direction for him. This is a major decision, since this will likely be the last church he will serve. My dad is a wonderful man and a profound example of what it means to serve God and the church.

There were also new beginnings for those in this country who lost people five years ago on Sept. 11th. This is the fifth year anniversary of the tragic event, and some are now just beginning to move on with their lives. I cannot even begin to imagine the emotions and thoughts in their minds! I read about children who lost parents or family- and all they really want to do is begin to move on from the events of five years ago. It is hard for them to see all of the media obsession with the events that happened not only then but what has happened since that fateful day. What does this say about us as a media savvy country? Can we now begin to move on? Or will that ever happen?

Whatever the new beginnings are in your life, my prayers are with you. New beginnings can be really scary, but the door is open now. All you can do is trust in God's mercy and keep walking. Thanks be to God.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Back in the family

An update: my lightheadness has gone away! I visited a neurologist about a week and half ago, and he told me it is a symptom of migraine headaches (which I have). So, I have proper meds and a diet to follow. Life is good once again!

I just got back to Atlanta from a week at home with the family in TN. Wow. I am really glad to get back here! Not that I don't love my family, but I really love my life here. We start the fall semester this week, which should be great. I love the classes I'm taking and it will be fantastic to catch up with all my classmates who've been gone over the summer.

I've been thinking lately about the family. Family is not just your biological/adoptive family. It is the people you surround yourself with- friends and others in your life. I have this group of people here at the seminary who I am close with. Even though, sometimes we are separated- I know I can always go back there. They are the Hebrew track students of 2005. We have a bond that I don't think can really ever be broken, even if there is distance between us. Although, I am branching out and do things with lots of people here, I know I can fall back and know they are there to catch me, and I am there to catch them.

I guess what I am trying to it's nice to be back in the family.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Less than two weeks left of Greek. Thank the Lord! I literally can't fit anything else inside my head. I'm looking forward to going home and preaching at my home church. I'm a little scared of preaching in front of my parents. They have never heard me preach- neither has the rest of the congregation. It will be a wonderful experience. If I wasn't so focused on learning Greek, I would be working on that sermon.

I saw Talladega Nights last night. That is hands down the funniest movie I have ever seen!! My favorite quote is from one of Ricky Bobby's sons "man, Dad, you made that grace your bitch!". There were so many good one liners. If you've not seen it, you need to! It's worth the 7.50 to see it in the theater.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Thoughts at the end of the week

Thank goodness it's Friday! I've successfully survived another week of Greek school. I must admit that my brain is way too full of paradigms and the 23 forms of "the"!! But, the weekend is for rest and relaxation- and that's my plan! Honestly, I think I'll be camped out on my couch this afternoon watching The West Wing. I need the rest.

I was discouraged by comments by a classmate of mine after receiving the quiz back. This person was complaining about missing six points for a small mistake- nothing major and announcing that a perfect grade was screwed up by a stupid mistake. While I did well on the quiz and I knew I had made some mistakes, I felt worse by the comments. I must continue to remind myself that I don't need to compare myself to anyone else! But, it is human nature, especially within these walls of CTS. I can understand how this person felt- I make stupid mistakes all the time, but it does impact others when you talk about it out LOUD. In the grand scheme of life, Greek quiz grades do not matter. That's why I'm not letting this quiz grade get to me!

On a lighter note, chapel today was amazing! I love when children are leaders in worship. They have some wonderful gifts to share with the church, and I love when those gifts are highlighted. The best moment was when Teddy (who's only three) was "dancing" around on the platform in the front of the chapel during the moment of wonder. It was priceless. He is the cutest kid- and when you are three, that's all you want to do in front of lots of people. It was a wonderful distraction from all the Greek stuff- a great way to remind you why you are here studying Greek. Children have a great way of teaching and reminding us of what really matters. A smile on the face of a kid handing you a cup of goldfish crackers is a wonderful moment of grace and love.

And thanks be to God!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Another day

So, it's another day here in Atlanta. And it's HOT! The worst part is that I have no motivation to do my Greek homework. It's not that I don't understand it, I'm just unmotivated. So, I'm distracting myself by watching The West Wing on DVD- not the most productive thing in the world. Oh well! Such is life.

The funniest thing today was the new student IDs. Last week, we all had our pictures taken for the Greek school directory. A bunch of us decided to have a little fun and all wear this pink scarf in different ways for the pictures. I decided to wear it over my head and covering the lower part of my face. It was a really funny picture- actually all of them were! Little did I know that all of us were getting student IDs- not just the new students. So, I got my new student ID in my box this afternoon, and it was this crazy picture. Then, our dean of students called me a terrorist in front of one of the professors! The joke is getting out of hand! This new ID simply cracks me up and is providing for a few laughs around the campus. Glad I could be of service!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

My thoughts as I begin this

There are so many people here at CTS with blogs, so I thought I'd join in. I'm a 2nd year student at Columbia Theological Seminary, and currently I am learning Greek. I really love it! I must admit that it is eaiser for me than Hebrew by far! This community is changing with new students beginning this summer- and they are wonderful! I'm excited to see how the community will function this fall when we are all back.

I've heard some wonderful sermons here at the CTS chapel this past week. David Bartlett and Chuck Campbell preached two fantastic sermons that remind me of why I am here. I love those moments where I am reminded of my purpose in going to seminary and why I want to serve as a leader in the church. One of the scriptures was 1 Corinthians 14:15 (the name of my blog)- it reminds me that my learning here does serve a greater purpose as I prepare to enter into the ministry- praising with both my spirit and my mind. Also, there needs to be balance- to praise with and enrich my spirit along with my mind. So powerful.

Lately, I've been thinking about the current situation in the Middle East and also the recent developments at General Assembly of PC(USA). What are we all fighting about? I think, deep down, there is this overwhelming sense of fear of the unknown and the other. Fear. It's a very powerful thing. We need to teach young people to not fear "the other" ~ there are more similarities between people than differences when you take the time and effort to get to know people. I'm really scared for the future right now- there are so many people dying, in the way of harm. What is going to happen? I don't know...

I pray for the people in Israel, Syria, Lebanon- ALL PEOPLE in the Middle East and around the world who live in harm's way. Also, prayers for those in our church who are seeking a call, but are being denied for reasons of sexual orientation. Lord, I hope we can move beyond fearing the other.