Tuesday, August 29, 2006

On Beginnings and Endings

Today I celebrate another birthday. I'm at the age that you stop mentioning your exact age, and I think I could pass for younger than I am. At seventeen someone thought I was thirteen, and people often think my younger brother is older than me. It may be he just looks mature and is taller than me and married. This year will be a big year of change. I quit my unsatisfactory receptionist position a couple of weeks ago, so I am looking for employment. I am in the process of applying to take a course at McMaster University in New Testament Greek with a plan to go back to school in the fall semester of 2007. The class is during the day, so I will need a flexible job or afternoon shift general labour-type job. I'll be moving into my own apartment September 1st, so I finally will be launching out on my own. I have lived three years on campus at Redeemer, but I always came home in the summers and many times during the school year as well. In the midst of all this change and with my unsettled future, I feel remarkably at peace. I guess even though I don't have a job yet and I am moving out on my own, I feel that God is directing my steps and that he will take care of me even if I mistakenly go in the wrong direction. Having said that, I would appreciate your prayers during this time of job searching and launching out, because job searching and uncertainty definitely aren't my favourite things. And if you hear of any suitable job openings in the general Hamilton area I hope you will pass some information my way. I feel very positive about leaving my old job, and I expect that the Giver of all good gifts has something appropriate for me. And when I "consider the lilies" I am reminded not to worry about what I should eat or drink or wear (or about how I will earn my bread and save for the future), because my Heavenly Father knows that I need all these things. I am reminded to seek first his kingdom and all these things will be added unto me as well. My mother and father are also willing to help me if I need it and they are such a blessing with their encouragement, generousity, and support. I have been the longest at home of any of their children and perhaps the slowest to mature, so their patience has been remarkable. Now that I am moving out, they will only remember my good points fondly and forget all the rest.
I was going to post a birthday picture, but that will have to wait. I do plan on changing my picture soon, because I never really liked it. I better go see if everyone is ready to watch the movie I selected.

Friday, August 18, 2006

1. One book that changed your life: The Purpose Driven Life (The Bible has made the most significant impact on my life by far, but Rick Warren's book also changed me and gave me hope for my future. I am going to read it again this September.)
2. One book that you’ve read more than once: Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
3. One book you’d want on a desert island: The Bible in a Greek, Hebrew, and English edition (not the NIV since I know that version well.)
4. One book that made you laugh: The Indispensible Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Waterson
5. One book that made you cry: The Boys or Waiting for the Electrician's Daughter by John Terpstra
6. One book that you wish had been written: I've thought of a few books I wish had been written like a step by step guide to my bright future or a book showing the way to a healthy medication-free life, but I think I will go with a wish that Jane Austen had written an eighth novel.
7. One book that you wish had never been written: Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. In truth, I would have been content if they had stopped after the first book, but even better would have been that the first book was never even conceived of.
8. One book you’re currently reading: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, a book I've already read three times and now have three copies of, since I just purchased Selected Works of the Bronte Sisters.
9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: "To the Lighthouse" by Virginia Woolf
10. Now tag five people: I retag Rachel and Christina and tag Andrea Hensen. I won't tag anyone else.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Dreamer

I am sure he could have given up, angry at God,
embittered by life. Because after the dreams—dreams
of twelve sheaves of grain and twelve stars, sun and
moon with eleven of the sheaves and thirteen heavenly
orbs–everyone in his large, contentious family in
fact–all bowing before him, the upright sheave and
brightest star—not long after these rapturous visions
came the thirty pieces of silver paid to his jealous
brothers and the bending of his proud neck to slavery
in a foreign land. And after rising to the top of the
household of Potiphar, captain of the palace guard, and
after losing his cloak rather than his virtue to
Potiphar’s lascivious wife came tearful, strident,
and false accusations and incarceration in a dank
prison cell.

(This is when I would have given up, if not before,
holding tight to anger, but relinquishing all belief
in prophetic dreams. I would stare at the prison walls
with stinging tears tracking the dirt on my face, but
I wouldn't stir to high acts of service, let alone
impressive feats of prison organization.)

But the one his rough-edged shepherd brothers mockingly
called "the Dreamer" worked so diligently he was soon
put in charge of all the prisoners. He even interpreted
the prophetic dreams of Pharaoh’s disgraced cupbearer
and baker (you would think he would be sick of dreams),
and his interpretations came true—the painful public
death of the one and the restoration to service of
the other. But his plea to the soon-to-be restored
cupbearer for advocation for his own release from
an unjust imprisonment were forgotten along with the
bad memories of a disgraceful incarceration, eagerly
discarded like soiled prison garb tossed in trash
heap. More years passed in prison, long years of
chaffing bondage. Did any ember of hope remain?

Was he surprised when he was summoned to interpret
Pharaoh’s troubling dreams? Was he staggered when
he was used to save Egypt (and the seed of the
Promise) in a time of severe famine? How did it
feel when, as second highest ruler of the land,
he received the abject bows of the brothers who
had sold him into slavery? Did he then gasp at
the unlikely route of God’s unfolding plan—its
unveiled, once inscrutable purpose?