A new house and Sky

I thought for some time that I would be sad leaving my apartment in Carroll Park. The last time we tried to move I got very sentimental (this really isn't like me). As this move-out date got closer and with the short amount of time we found a new house and signed and decided to move, I really thought it would be hard.
The weekend came, Melanie's parents came up to help us out. We spent all day on Saturday boxing up our whole house and carting it over to our new house. We then spent all day Sunday loading a Uhaul truck with our furniture. We moved everything out and when I stood in the middle of my empty apartment, the only apartment I have lived in since I have been here, all I could feel was relief. A cleansing almost...so glad to be out of that apartment. The more time I have spent in the new house, the more I have realized how much I disliked the other place. Cheap rent was the only perk, but hey you get what you pay for.
So, what are the perks of the new house.....? They are endless!

1. We have our own washer and dryer and we did 4 loads of laundry on the first day. This means no more saving quarters, no more setting a timer, no more carrying laundry across the backyard, no more walking in to find that someone has lovingly monopolized every washer and dryer in there.
2. We have a backyard with a wooden fence and a two car garage
3. The walls are all painted cool colors and are not the same mental ward whitewashed color.
4. We have a full size fridge, a large sink and a pantry bigger than a broom closet
5. There are energy effecient windows and no one-inch cracks under our door. this means the air and heat the we buy actually stays in the house
6. The bathtub and sink are not made of cheap plastic that holds dirt and is impossible to clean.
7. We have big beautiful shade trees and are not sitting wide open, vulnerable to the North Texas wind
8. To take out our trash we do not need a key and hiking boots and a flashlight, we just have to walk about 15 yards
9. We live in an amazing location! Closer to my work and Melanie's! Closer to fun things to do and great places to eat!
10. And BEST of all! There is a dog next door named Sky! He is a beautiful husky and he loves attention!

This is not an exhaustive list! I know there are more things! I love going home. It is so fun to be there. Where you live really does make a difference.
I have some many exciting things coming up. Its going to be a whirlwind, but I cannot wait. I the next month i will be in 5 different cities in 4 different states.
...be enjoying my new house
...going to Houston for Thanksgiving
...GRADUATING with my Masters from Seminary!!!!! WOOHOO
...going to San Fransisco
...flying home for Christmas


These are people that I love. My sister and my brother-in-law, or as pictured here, chocolate milk. How great is this?

Hillarious! I love them!

moving......for real this time

I am posting this at the risk of sounding like a person crying wolf. I am moving for real this time. It is no farce. I kind of have to make this one stick because student housing is giving us the boot. I am not sure why, but for some reason when you graduate they want you out of their housing, go figure. So, my roommate and I kind of had this moment about 2 weeks ago when we realized we had a month to find a place to live, sign a lease and move. we looked into a couple of things and some didn't work out and then we found the perfect place. We were driving around, looking for rent signs and calling numbers and we found this little duplex house in the TCU college neighborhood. There were so many criteria a place needed to meet, not because we are picky, but because of where we are at and this place met them all. It is very close to where we live now, but it is in a better location for work for my roommate and I. It is very cute inside and out. It has a two car garage, a driveway, a fenced in back yard for the DOGS we will get!!!!! It is 2 bedroom with a washer and dryer and more importantly we were able to sign an 8 month lease. So in what will surely be a crazy event, we are moving this weekend! We might be dumb because we are in the hard push towards the end of school, but oh well, we are almost done.

Some things I will miss about Carroll Park Apartments
1. CHEAP rent- dirt cheap...its almost like stealing
2. the safety of seminary housing
3. seeing people I know (not know well, just know)
4. its the only place I have lived during this stage of life
5. I have a lot of memories in that house

Some things I will NOT miss about those apartments
1. the paper thin insulation and feeling my bought air slip right through the cracks
2. not being able to have a pet
3. the dwarf size appliances, closests and pantry
4. sharing washers and dryers with people who love to monopolize them
5. some very strange neighbors


greater things are still to be done in this city...

This song is the banner I think Christians need to be under on a day like today. We are not Republicans, we are not Democrats, we are not of the world, just in it. This is not our Kingdom, it is not our home. However, God has placed us in a certain time and a certain place, so that we might seek Him and find Him and lead others too Him. There is a lot of work to do that is not dependent upon who wins today's election.

You're the God of this city
You're the King of these people
You're the Lord of this nation
You Are

For there is no one like our God
There is no one like our God

Chorus 1:
Greater things have yet to come
Great things are still to be done
In this city
Greater things are still to come
And greater things are still to be done here

Verse 2:
You're the Lord of Creation
The Creator of all things
You're the King above all Kings
You Are

You're the strength in our weakness
You're the love to the broken
You're the joy in the sadness
You Are

Chorus 2:
Greater things have yet to come
Great things are still to be done
In this city
Where glory shines from hearts alive
With praise for you and love for you
In this city

- Chris Tomlin


Some final hurdles

My roommate had this fantastic idea to create a list of every task that stands between her and graduation, so that every task she completes she could mark off and find herself one step closer to being done with Grad school. I decided to copy her idea...so here it is...

  1. Church Budget Project
  2. Delegation Group Project
  3. New Testament Exegetical Paper
  4. Youth Talk
  5. Student Culture Notebook
  6. 6-year youth ministry strategy
  7. New Testament Final Exam
  8. Admin Leadership Final Exam
  9. Lots of Reading
So, when I complete these tasks, one-by-one I walk one step closer to having my Masters degree, one step closer to completing Seminary, one step closer to closing out this chapter of my life, one step closer to a very uncertain future. I think I will always be glad I had this experience, but I would be lying if I said I was sad it was drawing to a close. I am weary of the fragmented life, of a life lived with my hands in 10 different things (school, part-time jobs, etc.) and not roots to speak of. I am ready for the Lord to move me to a place, a city that I can "build a house, plant a garden" in other words a place, I can invest in and focus my energies in. Though I have no idea where that place is, I trust that as I mark items of the above list, God will lead me in the right direction.


Change we can believe in...

My roommate's family was here this weekend to celebrate her birthday. We talked a good bit about politics, because two of her family members are still undecided voters. At one point her dad made a comment that really stuck out to me. We were talking about the policy differences between the two candidates and all of the areas of society that Obama is pledging to make changes in (education, health care, poverty, etc.) and he said, "It doesn't matter what kind of program it is, the government will find a way to screw it up." I immediately thought about all of the well intentioned programs I knew of that were government initiatives gone bad....welfare....No child left behind are two that came to mind. Welfare was supposed to help people for a short time until they could get back on their feet and instead it has spoon-fed many to the point of crippling them. No child left behind was originally supposed to make sure that no kids were slipping through the cracks in the education system and that schools and teachers who were slacking and not doing their job had some accountability and standards and instead the program has refocused teacher's energy into teaching to a test so that their schools don't "look bad" and lose funding. I spoke with a teacher at my school about this just Friday. She was so frustrated with all the extra stuff she has to do and how she can't teach her kids how to read because she spends all her time teaching them how to pass a reading test. She said, "The way No child left behind was designed to work, is not how it actually functions." And socialism and communism, hasn't it been said over and over that they, "Look good on paper." But in the end they turn into corrupt systems? So what is the problem? They are run by man and man is corrupt. So, what is the solution? Do we forget about poor people and do nothing? My mind was swirling with this question today. And then it hit me. What Melanie's dad said is true. It is not possible for the government of a nation this large, to hand down some fool-proof policy that works to fix a specific problem across the board. No child left behind didn't work because it can't work. The only thing that can fix education is people, individuals working together in grassroots efforts to change things. Who can change education? Individual school districts, school superintendents, school teachers and last but not least parents. If the leaders of a school do not find the drive and desire within themselves to work together and change an individual school for the better the government can hand down any kind of program it wants, but nothing is going to change. Change is like a throwing a small pebble into a pool of water; the ripple starts small and circles out....it never starts out and circles back in.
This is the same for poverty. If we want to help people out of poverty the government can't pass down a program that effectively fixes the problem. Individuals have to make changes.

Obama can campaign under the banner of change and maybe he can do some good things as the President, but there is no government program for changing individuals. The country is ready for a change. The media is rallying for a the next President to work his magic and fix this all and the moment they realize he can't they will hate him for it. We will point our finger and rally, with just as much vigor as we did when we were cheering our candidate to victory, and blame him for not changing anything. We will blame the democrats and we will blame the republicans and we will blame the ex-President George Bush, but we would never place the blame where it belongs......ME. If we want this country to change we have to change.

The Lord sends Jeremiah to writer a letter to the Exiles of Jerusalem in Babylon. He knows they are depressed about where they are and that they are wanting God to change their situation and instead God tells them:
"Build houses and live in them. Plant gardens and eat their produce. take wives and have sons and daughters. Take wives for your sons and give your daughters to men in marriage so taht they may bear sons and daughters. Muliply THERE; do no decrease. Seek the welfare of the city I have deported you to. Pray to the Lord on its behalf, for when it has prosperity, you will prosper." Jeremiah 29:4-7

The Lord says, I have placed you here for a purpose and you will plant roots here and you will seek out the welfare of this place andn bring my name there and push back what is dark and effect change in this city.
On Tuesday, when our country elects a new President, let us not forget that the earth is the Lord's and everything in it.