Friday, July 29, 2005

Okay, this is too good not to share.

I was railing about my last blog entry and getting really worked up. Okay, to be truthful I lost my temper. I was stomping about thinking about how frustrated I am trying to reconcile my faith with the rest of my life and then I started worrying about how Gary and I are going to cope with this problem since we have different ideas about faith.

Well, my iPod was running on shuffle play of my Eighties mix and at that moment, "Love is a Battlefield" by Pat Benatar came on. That brought an amused smile to my face. Then, as I tried to cling to my grumpiness about faith issues, "Higher Love" by Steve Winwood came on followed by "Tenderness" by General Public. Then, it played "Never Surrender" by Corey Hart and "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey.

Okay God. Message received.
I've been listening to NPR today and there has been a segment about religion and science. This seems to be coming up more and more lately so I feel that I need to state my position on this subject as clearly as I can and hopefully I won't be too inarticulate.

First of all, do I believe that God created the world?
Yes, I do. As a Christian, I believe that there is a divine origin to all things. God created everything and set into motion all processes.

Second of all, do I believe in evolution?
Absolutely. Evidence of evolution is all around us. I worked in a Nature and Science museum and helped to teach about this process. However, I also believe that evolution is not exclusive of divine origin. I believe God set this process into motion and that is part of His plan.

Third, do I support the Intelligent Design movement?
No, I do not. Not because I don't believe that they make some valid points but because I think the ultimate goal of this movement is to promote a right-wing agenda and force opinions into schools and onto individuals. If we allow this set of beliefs into schools, why not allow Hindu, Buddhist, Native American, Muslim and other creation theories as well. We could easily get bogged down into trying to represent everyone's beliefs and ideas about creation. Everyone has his/her theories about this. And I don't believe that is wrong. There is no solid proof about any particular creation theory, even evolution. But I think that because evolution has some solid evidence that can be verified through tests and observation, it is reasonable to teach that in a scientific setting. It is not reasonable to include theories that are based on faith within a school setting. It would only promote strife and division among children.

Fourth, do I believe other theories besides evolution should be taught in schools?
As a follow-up to my previous response, at this time I would have to say no. Faith-based theories can be taught at home and in a faith setting such a church. This is how I learned about divine design and it did not shake my faith at all to be exposed to evolution in schools. I firmly believe in a separation of church and state. Our Founding Fathers wanted to build a nation where people were free to live their lives as they saw fit without a government dictating to them what they can or cannot believe. I believe the greatest failing of the Republican right is its attempt to only promote one religious agenda within a political setting that seeks to alienate all people who do not agree or think as they do. These are not the principles on which our country was founded and these types of agendas only serve to separate us instead of unite us.

Quite honestly, I am sick to death of this subject because I think that it, like so many other faith-based subjects, gets people too focused on a micro issue to the point that a macro view is sacrificed. We as Christians have a lot more important things to worry about than whether or not we evolved from apes. Do you think it really matters to your neighbor whether or not he/she is a product of evolution when he/she is starving and can't afford decent heathcare for his/her children? Instead of sitting around arguing about inconsequential issues, we should focus on following Jesus' example of loving and helping our neighbors and trying to create a heaven on earth where all people are loved and valued.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

You scored as Hermione Granger. You're one intelligent witch, but you have a hard time believing it and require constant reassurance. You are a very supportive friend who would do anything and everything to help her friends out.

Hermione Granger


Albus Dumbledore


Remus Lupin


Ron Weasley


Sirius Black


Ginny Weasley


Harry Potter


Draco Malfoy


Severus Snape


Lord Voldemort


Your Harry Potter Alter Ego Is...?
created with

Monday, July 25, 2005

So, I helped host a baby shower yesterday. I think it went pretty well. I just hope everyone had a good time. We didn't have any traditional games so I hope people weren't disappointed. It's always fun to have a party, though. And I like having people in my house.

I've realized something lately. Married people like to hang out with other married people. I think this is why I have so much trouble making new friends. Because everyone my age is either married or pregnant or both. When you meet someone new as a married person and find out he/she is married, it's easy to say, "Hey, why don't you and your spouse come over to our place for dinner." But it seems odd when you do that as a single person. Not only that, but you don't get many invitations from married people when you are single. It's like they think you'll be uncomfortable being the only single person. I have been lucky that my married friends tend to include me in things. But it seems like the older you get, the harder it is to meet people. I hope I'll be able to make new friends in California. It will be tough not having my buddies around me.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Okay, I have a gripe. I have been wanting to get some new technical clothing for hiking and climbing. They have had good sales at all the stores lately so I thought I'd check them out. My first stop was the North Face store. Now, in the regular retail world, I usually wear a 10 or 12 in bottoms. Today, I'm wearing a pair of size 12 pants from Urban Outfitters and they are baggy.


At the North Face store, I stocked up on shorts and pants in size 12 and couldn't get a single pair to even come up to my waist. They were too small. And they didn't have any bigger sizes. So, I went down and checked out the sale at EMS. Again, I grabbed pants and shorts in size 12. I even grabbed a pair of North Face shorts in a size 14. Well, all the size 12 items wouldn't even go up to my waist. The size 14 would go on but I had to suck in to get the shorts closed. There were no sizes larger than 12 in any of the other items. I finally gave up.

Do they just think...."oh, you're a fatty so you don't need technical clothing" these stores? Honestly, what is the deal? I know I'm a big girl but don't I deserve to be able to find clothes in reasonable sizes? It just makes me feel bad.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

My friend Ellen of The Reign of Ellen (aka Frank) has done it again. She wrote this terrific primer on depression in response to crazy Tom Cruise and it is brilliant. I'm so lucky to have such creative friends.

Check it out:
I took my first climbing lesson last night and had a blast! My friend Gary went with me as my new climbing partner. I was so enthusiastic to get up on that wall but when I did...I was scared to death! I made it up the wall fairly quickly but once I was on the ground, I was shaking all over. It' higher up than you think! And some of those footholds are really tiny!

But after it was all over, I felt very empowered by the experience. I like it that you have to trust your partner to watch out for you. And I like the whole mental aspect of it all. You have to really concentrate on where to put your hands and feet and plan your route. It makes you forget about everything else. And you feel really self-reliant when you make it to the top. Like you accomplished something. At one point on my second run, I didn't think I could make it. I felt I wasn't strong enough. But I gave one last big effort and managed to get to the top. And I was so proud of myself.

I really look forward to going again. It's a very empowering sport.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Harry Potter is out! I was at our local Barnes and Noble from 9pm-1am trying to solicit donations for the Children's Hospital. Overall, it went really well. I got to talk to a lot of people and hand out lots of literature about the Hospital. I also got about 15 book donations. One teenage girl only had $2 left over after buying her Harry Potter book and she wanted to donate it to the Hospital because "the Children's Hospital saved my life." Another 12-yr-old made three different book donations to me over the course of the evening. It was really inspiring.

I also enjoyed seeing all the different kinds of people that were there from the book release. There were a surprising number of teenagers and college students. The best thing I saw that night was two adult Indian men still dressed in their suits from work. They were both wearing Harry Potter glasses and looking as serious as can be. I loved it. People were so festive and dressed in costume. One staff member made a terrific Professor Trelawney and one customer was dressed as Sirius Black complete with Azkaban prisoner number across his chest. It was a lot of fun. It is so nice to see people get excited about a book for a change. Especially since most people at the library only care about movies.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

In honor of the new Harry Potter book release, I got myself sorted. I will be volunteering at the Harry Potter release party tomorrow night at Barnes and Noble. They are letting us set up a table for the Children's Hospital. We're hoping people will donate books to the Hospital while they are there for their Harry Potter books. It is always fun to see the kids get so excited about a book! My own personal copy will be arriving on Saturday morning by FedEx. I can hardly wait!
i'm in gryffindor!
be sorted @

Monday, July 11, 2005

So, yesterday the sermon in church was about the parable of the seeds. It talks about how God spreads the seeds of his message on different types of soil and describes how that message is received. I always think of myself when He describes the messages that falls among the thorns. The message is received but gets choked out by the daily concerns of the world. Some people would say that Christ is wasting his message by spreading over so many different types of people. In Jesus' time, the Jews were very upset that this message was given to the Gentiles as well. Lucky for us, Jesus didn't listen.

I think evangelism is the hardest part about being a Christian. It can be really scary to share your faith with other people because you never know how they will respond. A lot of people have been very contempuous of my beliefs. And that's fine. We don't all have to believe the same thing. But I just wish everyone could feel the things I feel through my faith. It feels me with such hope and happiness. Like all things really are possible.

I've been thinking lately about how I might want to go to seminary someday. I don't think I would every actually preach because I don't really feel worthy enough to be a pastor. But I'd like to learn more about my faith. I was very excited to learn that there is something called the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.'s in the San Francisco Bay Area. I couldn't believe it. God definitely has plans for me there.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Just got back from Texas and had a really good time. It was great to be able to give Gary a little thumbnail tour of where I come from. I really miss it. But not the heat. It hovered around 100 degrees the whole time we were there. We spent one day in San Antonio and I was surprised at how much my univeristy, Trinity, has changed. I was there eight years ago and yet so much building has gone on that I hardly recognize large parts of it.

It is strange to think that less than a year from now Gary and I will be married. I'm really looking forward to it. It will be so great to have all of our friends and family together. It's difficult to plan the ceremony since Gary and I are people of different beliefs. I am very lucky that Gary is so respectful of my beliefs. Some people have told me that Gary will try and change me and prevent me from practicing my faith. I don't believe that. And if people really think I am so poor in spirit that I would give up my faith for anyone, then that really shames me. God brought Gary and I together for a reason. I truly believe that. And it will all be revealed in time. In the meantime, I will do my best to be an example for Gary and my friends who are not Christian. Which is actually pretty sad when I think about it. I don't feel like I'm a good example. I have temper problems and no patience at all. I tend to get really self-centered and forget to love my fellow human beings as I should. I really really struggle in trying to follow Christ's example and I feel like I really fall short of the mark. But I try.

In my bible study, we've been talking about the concept of grace and how hard it is for people (even Christians) to accept that idea. In the book, the author describes grace like this:

You got to school for the first time and you are feeling really nervous and inadequate. It almost seems like a sham that you are even in the classroom because you feel like you don't measure up and you'll never be able to keep up with the others. Then, the teacher comes in, looks at you and the others and says, "I'm giving you all an "A". Now, just do your best."

As human beings, God comes in right away and gives us all an "A." No matter what. All He asks is that we do our best. Sounds easy, right? Not really. But it's nice to know that God believes in us. And He'll never give up on us, either. I find that really comforting.