Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Something Americans don't like to talk about

Lately, as I have been filling out job applications yet again, I have had to fill out several profiling questions on various Web sites. My 11-year-old self would have checked "Other" and put in "Russian Jew," as I was extremely excited to identify myself as someone who may be of Israeli descent. But I learned that really I'm just white and nobody cares, so that's what I put. (Besides, I don't want a repeat of that previous neighbor who asked me if my parents and I speak Hebrew together... wait, what?)

After reading a particular article posted on Facebook from a church friend at Fellowship Greenville - http://www.russellmoore.com/2008/05/29/transracial-adoption-the-gospel-and-you/

...I decided to blog about something. As we church searched, I made a comment that seemed very obvious to me, but I realized that not many people think about it. I refuse to make my home church a place where I only see white people.

There are several reasons for this.

First of all, I grew up in a church that was filled with people of all different races, and so I thought all churches just loved people in all their variety, and that God does, too. Well, I was wrong about all churches - true churches, yes - but it taught me from an early age that God made variety and loves variety. I want that for my children. I grew up and would meet people and I would just know them... I didn't think "She's Hispanic, she's black, she's white, she's Asian." (With the exception of my best friend calling me orange... I knew I wasn't white and that proves it!)

Secondly, I would hate to be a part of a congregation where I couldn't bring my friend, someone who needs to hear about Jesus, or someone who's church seeking like me, because they wouldn't be welcomed. That would be so, so sad, if a difference so superficial got in the way of someone hearing God's Word and growing in His word.

And, honestly, if I bring someone who's Asian and all they see is white people, maybe it would be hard to feel connected. I think I've been to a couple of services where I've been the only white person, but I didn't really feel like that was important or on my mind, because I was welcomed, engaged, and people took the time to really have conversations with me. But I can imagine it would be nice to see someone else there that looks like me. I think that's human. (Personally, I don't think I'd care. I'm more about where God's leading me.)

So, I'm comfortable calling our new church home, and I know I might be weird for even thinking about these things, but I'm not afraid to think about any subject, or discuss it. Also, I'm not saying all churches have to be like evenly mixed or something. There are some churches that are culturally knit closer than others - I know one of my old churches had a whole congregation that met on Sunday nights that was all Spanish speaking, and another all Arabic speaking people, and I was invited to attend the Arabic services (but I was working in the nursery and could not). I just refuse to be a part of a close minded congregation that isn't focused on the Gospel and more focused on people's clothes, hair styles, skin color, makeup, weight, etc.

Oh, and one more thing... how would my sister have felt?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

2007 Christmas Letter

My 2007 Christmas Letter - and by amazing I really only meant Leah:

Hi Everyone!
I've been at BJU this past semester, and took website design, English 102, intro to computer programming, college algebra, general psych, orientation, and Old Testament messages. Some of those look familiar? Yes, it was round two for me...they didn't transfer some of my credits.
I was one of two female computer science majors to complete the semester. Both of us worked in the dining commons. There were 70 tablewipers in all to cover the 21 meals a week.
I am thankful that God allowed me to go there this semester; I met some amazing people! Examples: my roommates, Leah, Amy, and Bethany. They are from Vermont, Nebraska, and Minnesota. Leah had two sisters on the hall of our dorm.
Leah's taught me so much about God. I love her like a sister and I think she treated me like one would a little sister. We're only a year apart but she is really confident about things in general and I was not most of the semester. I could talk to her about anything and she always knew something to say. She'd always get out her Bible and share one of her favorite verses. Read Psalm 91 if you get the chance.
Some of my more interesting memories include moving into the wrong building the first night, leaving my (work) shoes in the library one day, teasing Bethany for studying too much (nursing major), getting basically locked into the closet twice by Amy (I’m sure Bethany helped too), and finding notes that encouraged me and pointed me to God from Leah and random people. Talk about crazy - for 5 days, Leah was confined to the hospital because they thought she had whooping cough (she didn't). One morning, she popped the window screen with a spoon, ran along the ledge 2nd floor, in her pajamas, and said hi to everyone else....and then set her voicemail to "I'm so glad to hear from you! I'm in the Psych Ward right now and probably going on my daily walk to the bathroom or washing my hair for the 3rd time since I'm not answering the phone!"
One of my teachers, to put it short, reminded me of God, in that he was absolutely perfect in how he taught us grace. He never gave a grade to us, but he was realistic in expectations. Another teacher of mine just showed me how people do notice when one has joy despite all the hard things that may come in life, and that that joy is something others recognize as coming from God alone.
Do's and Don'ts at BJU
Don't eat RibeQ. (reprocessed meat)
Do buy scantrons off your Jr. High aged Chapel Buddies. (they get 'em cheaper)
Do sleep in until 7:35 if you have an 8 o'clock (12 minutes to get ready, 6 to get breakfast from the dining commons, and 7 to run to class and eat; it worked)
Don't get hit by a car if you aren't wearing hose on Sunday (you'll get demerits as they transport you to Barge, the on campus "hospital")
And don't go to Barge. They'll quarantine you!

Merry Christmas!