Sumpteretc's Blog

What's on my mind at the moment

Month: August, 2007

free to worship

I had lunch with one of our pastors today. While we do have some differences, we are very similar in our personalities and psychological makeup. I was sharing with him some of the struggles I have had in my spiritual journey, including some regarding finding meaningful spiritual disciplines that keep me growing and moving forward. I face the paradoxical situation of craving both routine and variety, so I have some difficulty in establishing a devotional life that is consistently meaningful. I have felt guilt at times, because those disciplines that I enjoy most don’t necessarily fit the traditional mold for “personal devotions.” For example, I enjoy Bible study, but many people see that as being informational rather than formational and therefore inappropriate for a devotional time.

My pastor really affirmed me and helped me find some freedom in this area. He encouraged me to find a way to worship and to discover God in ways that come naturally to me. He went so far as to say, “You don’t have to read My Utmost for His Highest.” I have enjoyed reading some mystic writers and sometimes I long to have experiential faith like theirs, but I am slowly learning to embrace the person God made me. I may never be a Teresa of Avila or St. John of the Cross, but I can relate to God in unique ways that are personal to me.

On a related note, my pastor noted that, when we say we love someone, we are really saying that we love who we are when we are with them. We are after all inherently selfish, and it runs counter to our nature to love someone with unalloyed motives. It’s maybe not ideal, but it’s an acceptable reality. I am not all the way to where I want to be in love with Jesus, but I am learning to love who I am when I’m with Him. My deepest spiritual longing is to really know Christ–not just to live morally, not just to be guided by superior principles, but to have an active, growing relationship with Jesus.

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It is so hot

I’m sure that my first January in Mongolia, I will be begging for some weather, but right now it is so hot…
…..the birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground.
…..the trees are whistling for the dogs.
…..the best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance.
…..hot water now comes out of both taps.
…..you can make sun tea instantly.
…..you learn that a seat belt buckle makes a pretty good branding iron.
…..the temperature drops below 95 F (35 C) and you feel a little chilly.
…..you discover that in August it only takes 2 fingers to steer your car.
…..you discover that you can get sunburned through your car window.
…..you actually burn your hand opening the car door.
….you break into a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30 a.m.
…..your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, “What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death?”
…..you realize that asphalt has a liquid state.
….the potatoes cook underground, so all you have to do is pull one out and add butter.
…..the cows are giving evaporated milk.
….farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying boiled eggs.

scheduling

I’ve been a little slow at getting missions services scheduled, but I was getting tired of seeing all those blank Sundays on my calendar. So today, I finally buckled down and started making phone calls. It’s much easier for me to write an e-mail than it is to make a phone call, but the phone tends to get more responses. It seemed to pay off today anyway. I still got my share of answering machines or no answers, but I did get in contact with several churches and a few pastors even returned my calls. So, some of those blank spaces are starting to fill in, and I’m getting some ideas about how I might need to fill some of the others. One of the calls today was a little difficult. It was a pastor that I hadn’t met before, although he said he was supposed to call me this week anyhow. We didn’t have a very good phone connection, so I wasn’t always catching what he was saying. Somehow, I got it into my mind that he was from a church in the bootheel of Missouri, so I left the scheduling pretty wide open. We picked a Sunday in November. As the call was closing, I suddenly had the sinking realization that this was a church in South Carolina. I did hope to schedule a service there, but I intended to be a little more intentional about how I scheduled it, so as to incorporate visits to other area churches. Oh well, I have an anchor date now, so I will just have to work to schedule the other churches in November as well.

another dwarf joke (this one isn’t about miners)

I Rear-ended a car this morning.
I knew it was going to be a really bad day!
The driver got out of the other car and he was a dwarf!
He looked up at me and said “I am NOT happy”
So I said “Well, which one are you then?”
That’s how the fight started!

Take the Tedst

My 2-year-old son isn’t a member of the Virginia Association of Realtors, but he sure did laugh when he watched me take the Tedst.

Disney does politics

One day, the seven dwarfs left to go work in the mine. Snow White stayed home to prepare lunch. When she arrived at the mine with the lunch, she saw that there had been a terrible cave in. Tearfully, and fearing the worst, Snow White began calling out, hoping against hope that some of the dwarfs had survived.

“HELLO, HELLO,” SHE CALLED. “CAN ANYONE HEAR ME? HELLO”. FOR QUITE A WHILE THERE WAS NO ANSWER. LOSING HOPE, SNOW WHITE CALLED AGAIN, “HELLO. IS ANYONE DOWN THERE?”

JUST AS SHE WAS ABOUT TO GIVE UP ALL HOPE, THERE CAME A FAINT VOICE FROM DEEP IN THE MINE. THE VOICE SAID, “VOTE FOR HILLARY, VOTE FOR HILLARY.”

SNOW WHITE, SOMEWHAT RELIEVED SCREAMED OUT, “OH THANK GOD. DOPEY IS STILL ALIVE.”

Potted Police

As someone once said, local news is like a comedy club without the drinks, but I can’t blame the news personnel here for getting a little tickled.

Road Rage

I don’t know if airbags are really this sensitive, but it makes for a funny video.

10 Ways to Ensure You Stay Broke

The Consumerist had a great article on how to be a bad steward of your finances. You might want to go over this list and see how many describe you. If you think of some other money-wasting ideas, feel free to add them in a comment.

1) Make Shopping Your Hobby.

2) Don’t Have a Budget.

3) Impress Your Friends By Buying Them Expensive Stuff You Can’t Afford.

4) Go Grocery Shopping When You’re Hungry, With No List.

5) Go To The Little ATM At The Gas Station. A Lot.

6) Buy Lots and Lots of “Comfort Items” Without Considering The Cost.

7) Don’t Open A High Interest Savings Account

8) Run Up Lots Of Credit Card Debt

9) Let Yourself Go.

10) Buy Your Children Whatever They Want