quarta-feira, outubro 26, 2005

The Call to Ministry

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Have you ever been in that place that seems.... I have no way of describing it outside of inadequate. Something tells me that I have been doing things right-- that I am truly following God's call. But sometimes I wonder, am I fooling myself? I mean really, when have I ever stood up for anything that I really talk about. When I talk to my friends, one of the common phrases is, "I thought it-- but I didn't say it." Why don't I say it though? Because deep down I feel to the point that I say that I know that I am inadequate. That nobody really listens to me or comes to me because they think I have anything at all to offer them. Most times it's me tagging along behind pretending like they want me there. Do they? Sometimes I wonder-- even if they are wonderful friends and amazing and people that I would never say these things to because I know their response. "No, of course not, Amber. I love to hear what you say." Blah blah blah. But part of me doesn't want to feel better about it. Will somebody please challenge or criticize me! Trust me or something. I don't know. I feel called to ministry when I fear all my attempts at ministry fail. What kind of pastor could I be? What kind of teacher? I have no idea because I apparently don't even have the person or the characteristics that anyone would pick out for this-- that anyone would want to voluntarily give me the chance. And if I'm not qualified, I'm not sure I want to screw everybody up. I suppose I know what everyone would say to this-- everything I'm saying. I'd say it to myself if I were them. "Don't give yourself so much credit. Just ask, volunteer." "If God calls, He equips." I wonder sometimes if God is even calling. Yet it would seem absurd that he's not because I'd be lost without this direction-- whatever it is and wherever it is taking me. And because God places in our hearts a passion and it's irrevocably and overpoweringly there. So I guess this is what I'm doing. Writing this all out because no one really reads this and because I don't have the courage to talk to anyone about it. I'm sure I don't want to whine to one more person. I make myself sick when I sit and try to defend myself this and that. I make myself when others are sitting there with better things to do, but they're trying. They really are trying to care.... But what do I say? In any person's mind, there's nothing wrong with me. I'm normal, I'm "pure," I'm meticulously semi-legalistic towards myself (not towards others but in some demented manner I live by this set of don't make a mistake guidelines and therefore I "haven't done anything bad, drastic or major," have I? So what do I know, right? Is it bad to be sick of yourself because you haven't screwed up? Is it not sad-- this whole stupid situation. To talk to who about it? To talk to anyone about it would be ridiculous. What would they say? All those things that I say to myself. I know these recited answers-- the good ones, you know. I've used them. But when it all comes down to it, what works when you know it and that doesn't help?

quarta-feira, outubro 05, 2005


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Ok. I am going to attempt, despite being in one of my somewhat illusion-proned insomiac moments, to expand upon what I have previously written and see if I get anywhere-- if I can pick up where I left. You see, I think that there is something inside each individual that moves one into motion. If we do not sense the beat or hear the music, perhaps we are stuck in this awkward stance of movement. But there is something in the bailando-- the dance that occurs within the context of community that means so much more. Have you ever been in a situation where you hear a song, but don't understand the lyrics. Yet something within you knows. Something in you drives you to tap your foot or your fingers when really what your entire body truly wants to do is to just leap foolishly around in some form of expression. However, the bailando is the most frightening part of the whole process. Because for some reason we are all afraid of expression. Give it a shot, though. I challenge you. Turn on some of that music that just makes you feel something and move the way it takes you. Can you feel, can you at least glimpse what it would be to dance the mirror of the beat with another person-- to hold hands with someone and dance that dance which has stirred your hearts together-- to give expression to that beat, the lyrics that is the living force behind it all?
"You are the perfect verse over a tight beat." --Brown Sugar

terça-feira, agosto 30, 2005

The Search

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I'm taking a break from the previous series to discuss something that has caught me since watching "Love Actually" this morning. I know-- some parts and much of the movie was somewhat.... well... sensor privy, but it did get me thinking. What are our priorities? I just wonder, when you get married, where does your spouse stand in the line of priorities and if that's where she stands then, then why isn't she there now? Why do people not really believe in loving someone for their entire lives, even before meeting or "knowing?" Perhaps there is something inside someone that waits to love. But how can they put it on hold when it will one day hold all of their priorities? How can you not look for that someone you love? When a father is away from his daughter, does he not call her three times every week? Is it possible that people, in fact, do themselves and their future spouses an injustice by saying that, in their lives, they will first do everything and then love will come at the end of it all. As if life was not something to be shared. As if trouble were something to face alone. As if the purpose of marriage were to weigh one down and tie them up for life. And somehow this is supposed to mirror God's love? You know, when these things are said and I nod as if I understand entirely what is going on, I really can't say that I truly understand. In all reality I don't at all. Call me a hopeless romantic, but I have been in love with someone my entire life. Someday soon I will know his face, I will know his name, but in knowing myself and my God, somehow I already know and love him. And while my aim in life at this moment may not be a crazy and desperate search for him, my eyes are open, not closed. And the moments are fluid. I build for myself in hopes of following God's plan and creating the best possible life and path for us all..... Call me hopeless... Call me romantic.....

quarta-feira, agosto 24, 2005


To continue from the last post-- Canta, which tells one to sing, I must now talk about the Cancion, the song, the source of the beating of your heart. The very beginning and end of the dance (siting: "Life's a dance you learn as you go. Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow). But this beginning-- where is it? What brings this song into the life of each individual? And to tell the truth, I really could not definitely say. Symbolically, the ultimate song is the creator of the song-- the creator of us all, of sound, of instrument, of material and spirit. However, on a more shallow symbolic level, I'd say that the song is very much inspired. Not that the greatest Man ever sent to earth could not be inspiration enough-- only to say that His inspiration is a source from whence other inspirations come. And perhaps this inspiration (that some may say is shallow or whatnot) is truly His mirror. However, we must somehow tap into it. Sure, we may dance, but is that dance not more meaningful when the lyrics are understood? Is the dance not more beautiful when the steps are in line with the beat? The steps are-- not to stretch, but to illustration-- simply a mirror of the beat, and when one steps out of the beat, where is the music? Close your eyes and soak in the music. Sit alone and sense only yourself and the music? Nice, right? Now open them and step in beat-- you, your partner and the music. You've reached the next level-- Bailando.

I'm doing something slightly different with this post and hoping that someone somewhere is reading it and will respond. Do you need explanation? Do you wish to discuss? Before I write any more about the bailando, I want to make sure this is not some far out weird thing that no one really understands. Plus, I'd just like a little discussion to see where this is taking you, where you think it's going and what you think it's talking about. Sometimes explanation limits the reader where this will either confuse you or, as is my hope, allow you to learn and get out of it what you may.
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domingo, agosto 14, 2005


This is, perhaps, spontaneous. But I've seen a story playing before my eyes-- first the title and the pieces of life. And I thought perhaps a bit of open time here may produce a decent introduction. My Canta---

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It's funny what time does-- what happens to people and what holds them. Sometimes a song plays in your head over and over again. And then you sing and you sing loud and strong. The melody floats through the air and then time wears on the song. And no matter the melody, the words, the meaning-- it becomes old and is then replaced and you forget about it. Until, 10 years down the road, you hear it again-- the first time in years and suddenly you feel like you did the first time it held that meaning. And you let it take you back, never wanna let it go (no never). And once again that voice says "Canta" and do it with all of your heart. When you cantas, it's deeper than just singing. It's a melody of life-- a beat that you walk, talk and feel. It's a song with meaning-- real meaning, heart hope and love and life. And such is my cancion-- i canto.

segunda-feira, julho 18, 2005


below is a snippett from something i wrote in high school--starting slight in the middle of it all:

But the point I am writing about is not about that one person. It's about the conflict inside when I am 17 years old, wanting to say "love," yet knowing that may be a terribly wrong thing. Because I know that love will eventually turn into committment, and there are many I may meet, and what I am feeling is very likely to be a bad case of infatuation. Because every song applies, every poet speaks, and every brush sends a look or, more specifically, several looks in one second. I feel it taking over my face; in that second my eyes tell of love, excitement, followed by a blush of embarrassment and fear of it being read. Goethe tells my confusion, though probably meant for a different situation, in his poem "New Love, New Life"; "Heart, my heart, what will come of this? What oppresses you so greatly? What an unfamiliar, new life! I no longer recognize you." "Ach, wie kamst du nur dazu!" he continues, "Ah, how did you get this way? If I want to withdraw from [him] swiftly, to pull mysellf together, to escape [him], at the very same moment, alas, my path leads me back to [him]. Love, love, let me go!" So I will sit, wait, and endure. What will be, will be.

domingo, julho 10, 2005

Yet Feeling God

His eyes cried though not a tear escaped,
His heart screamed, but his voice calm and steady.
He was tired, exhaustion ran through his body yet he travelled day and night and poured out more and more of himself.
His smiles are precious yet have has not yet left
--it holds still strong.
He preaches hope to those who are comfortable.
He thanks those, gratefully uplifting those who could do more.
His expectations are not placed in us, in beings, in organizations.
His expectations are drawn toward the God who many would blame.
His stature is small, yet his task is large.
He is but a man, but He believes in a God larger than circumstance.
"It was only when the water was troubled that there was healing."

sexta-feira, julho 08, 2005

This Day

the sun was strong and i squirmed, unconsciously aware of the little imperfections here and there. was a pudge sticking out here? was my hair taking on its own personality, as it often did on hot, humid days such as this. but that was below the surface... just bubbling a little, and easily submerged by the murmur around me. i sighed a breath of relief as a fellow interpreter (and former professor) suggested we pay a visit to a table of brazilians. the gentle lull and drawn out song that is the portuguese language, despite my own frustration in attempts to speak it, were a comfort-- like going home to a soft bed and curling up around a soft pillow. the understanding smiles were tender arms that drew me in and before i knew it i was the center of a wonderful bond-- one inexplicable to those who have not experienced it themselves. the dreams that filled the atmosphere were bound only by our imaginations and the hope as large as the God in whom we had faith-- faith that He could and would achieve dreams even larger than our four minds combined could ever dream. and then we were five, as a soft face joined the assembly-- the uniqueness of this group was that it was great for growth. and this soft face was, in all reality, the inspiration for our gathering. for he fascinated me in his ins and outs-- his passion for preaching, yet his stubborn (almost to the point of frustration) manner. he had seen me speaking with his pastor and district superintendent and suspected the mischief lurking behind the minds of the men who surrounded me. perhaps he was also aware of my own passion that somehow appealed to every dreamer as they saw a field ripe with opportunity-- if only they would plant the seed, they would think, if they could somehow tap into this aimless stream, they were sure they would have something uniquely interesting. before the end of the conversation, i found myself at the center of matchmaking attempts. would i go to rio? sau paulo? foz do iguacu? argentina? no matter, whatever the case, i would be in the proximity of brazil and, of course, marry a brasileiro. the soft face? he laughed at their suggestions. he was used to their prodding and joking. a pastor must have a wife, after all. especially in brazil. well, perhaps he was yet too far. no matter. i would marry the fatherly pastor's son. what could be better?
a couple of days later we found ourselves walking outside in the same scorching heat. how far is the canal? just a little further. and then the city broke open-- broke wide and the beauty was exposed as we approached larger, more decorative buildings that were surrounded by massive lawns and in the center of it all was a trickling river-- the white river, they called it. the rio blanco, i explained to the pastor. but the river wasn't white! why is it called the white river? what is its history. i don't know the answer to that. i have only lived here in bits and pieces of the past few years. we descended the steps to a fountain and some locals walking nearby were kind enough to take a picture of the four of us.
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children shrieked, familys road in large peddle-operated vehicles, bikes cycled along the far end of the canal. the parks were not the same in brazil-- the bikes were not allowed in such areas in brazil. but then everything about america is large. we then reached the area that we had not known we'd been aiming for. small stone walls seemed to hold up the layered hill in an arrangement similar to a somewhat natural ampitheater. a willow tree stood at the far side by the bridge and we strode toward its welcoming shade as i joked with the pastor-- i could just see jesus himself preaching on the small indianapolis mount and feeding us along with the masses who'd join us. the sun was warm and despite any barriers of language that may have been there, my heart was warm as well. i will not and cannot form the words to describe the meaning behind my quiet, but as the day slowed and we soon found ourselves seperating in the cool air conditioning. and i feared, as i would fear many more times during those weeks, that these weeks would fade and the importance of moments such as these would simply fade. and the world would once again become silent.

segunda-feira, junho 06, 2005

The Word

This is the result of an assignment I had for the Theology class I had in Brazil. :)

My favorite name for Christ is actually found in John 1:1, where the writer says that "In the beginning there was the Word." Of all things talked about in Christian settings, the power of the living breathing Word is what astounds me the most. I began college hoping to be a journalist (which changed fairly quickly), and I found in my attempts to describe, communicate, to convey what I feel has always fallen short. But words are often what we have and to have a Word-- a constant, perfect, adequate Word beyond myself and my abilities, a lyric to life, a transcendence, an absolute Word that has always been; all of this just astounds me. To know a God who knows and understands and is the Word, even when I feel uncomfortable, when I can never say what I want people to feel, I believe in His being the Word. He will speak, will use the unusable.

segunda-feira, maio 30, 2005


Hmm. Yes, right now let's talk about pressure and family life. How would you feel if a member of your family had problems with several other members of your family? Doesn't effect you? Make you uncomfortable at all? No? Hmm. Interesting. Because I am of the mind that I love my family very much. I love my friends very much. And if they could see each other through my eyes and all hang together, they would see the value of each other. So how much greater and more productive would it be if everyone did this-- through God's eyes? Mine are, I will admit, still no perfect. My eyesight is still out of focus. I guess I need some God glasses. ;) But I do wish that I could follow what I know and that I knew which path to follow. What I know-- that I can't do it by myself and that I cannot make people see through my eyes, let alone through God's. The contradiction or perhaps my part in question-- How can I make them see each other? Can't they see how much it truly and deeply hurts me and effects me? That's right! It effects me that they can't even pretend around me. What's everybody's rush to get into what they think is the real world? And is it the real world or just the harsh reality that they accepted despite the promises of God that say otherwise. I wish I could say this. I wish I had a voice and not a headache. A-eee.

terça-feira, maio 24, 2005

Ein Lied

und wenn ein lied meine lippen verlässt,
dann nur damit du liebe empfängst.
durch die nacht und das dichteste geäst
damit du keine ängste mehr kennst
sag ein kleines stückchen wahrheit
sieh wie die wüste lebt
schaff ein kleines bisschen klarheit
und schau wie sich der schleier hebt
eine wüste aus beton und asphalt
doch sie lebt und öffnet einen spalt
der dir neues zeigt
zeigt das altes weicht
auch wenn dein schmerz bis an
den himmel reicht
und wenn ein lied, meine lippen verlässt,
dann nur damit du liebe empfängst
durch die nacht und das dichteste geäst
damit du keine ängste mehr kennst
dieses lied ist nur für dich
schön, wenn es dir gefällt
denn es kam so über mich
wie die nacht über die welt
schlanke faust der dunkelheit
bin ich zum ersten schlag bereit
ich bin der erste der dich befreit
und einer der letzten der um dich weint
und wenn ein lied (2x)
in unserer sanduhr fällt das letzte korn
ich hab gewonnen und hab ebenso verlorn
jedoch missen möcht ich nichts
alles bleibt unser gedanklicher besitz
und eine bleibende erinnerung
zwischen tag und nacht legt sich die dämmerung
und wenn ein lied
damit du keine ängste mehr kennst
damit du keine ängste mehr kennst

segunda-feira, maio 23, 2005

More Quotations

Let's see how many quotations I get in here before it's time to go. ... not many I'm guessing. I'll write something more profound later. Do I have any readers???

quarta-feira, maio 11, 2005

Movie Star

Have you ever looked at yourself or your life and watched as if seeing a movie? I thought of that today while I was moving from job to job and interacting with my co-workers. I was listening to a song which just set the mood and I could see my opening scene. This song played and I moved around my jobs. I would be typing, copying, filing, inserting, but most of the clips were in between. There was a clip of me passing the insert table and exchanging "Hola"s and "Buenas Dias"s. There was a clip of my small exchanges, my smiles-- and no one ever sees me frown. I'm not sad in this movie. I move freely to the background music. My life on the big screen-- why do I feel like nobody is watching? This sounded much more poetic and illustrative in my head as I repeated it during the day. Can you see it? Anyway, it's a good movie I think. Hopefully there's a happy ending.

quinta-feira, maio 05, 2005

How Bout Some Pics to Lighten the Mood...

Take a seat, drink some rose-flavored drink-- or just drink some water and let me flavor it with a little bit of me. Take a peak, stay a while, and get to know my people ;)

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This is a crazy night that I will remember forever-- one of my many Heather moments. I will miss her forever

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Meet Shaniqua, Elijah and Kokoa. I'm sure I spelled their names wrong, but they're my kids... some of them. The following few are more of them :) Kool Kids

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My ever-so-lovely roommate, Asha

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The Internationals: Sarah, Julian, Mabouc, Me, Christian, Josh, Fermin, Luis, Hector, Hanae, Simone, Juan and Jaime

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Some incredibly insane girls that I met this one time.... (I love you Jana and Danielle!!! ;) )


Below is a response to the titled article. The response is written by me, but also check out the article. There are many good criticisms but also some false ideas that I believe must be addressed in daily interaction and opportunities.

Article 25: Why do they hate us
By Peter Ford
I’d have to say that this article was both surprising and predictable and at times contradictory. I have more thoughts than I know what to deal with when I view the opinions opposing the United States. It’s easy, knowing the injustices that occur abroad to see the lack of action taken by the US and be frustrated, but in reading this article, I actually began to understand more America’s hesitancy towards action. In an attempt to perhaps cream the US foreign policy, I actually began to understand it.
The article was, in summary, a list of reasons why Muslims tend to be anti-American. The interesting things was that the focus was indeed Muslims and not just anti-Americans. The attempts to justify Muslim actions, just hurt my opinion of the Islamic efforts. Some said spread culture not war, when others seemed to say spread war not culture. The overwhelming idea, however, seemed to be—screw that country over, but please don’t do the same to us. When they said "Give us the same that you give to Israel," I began to see scores being tallied—the game of siblings against their parents.
It seems like the Muslim community has taken America to be the parent who is supposed to fairly settle their scores. I can see the opinions forming now in the minds of individuals who cannot see or know the aspects of governments and the key here is that we are friends with those who would befriend us. Will hostile acts of violence bring America running to your aid? Will militant history stand behind your talks of peace? Wherever can be found the double standard of America, can also be found the double standard of another Islamic country.
Should America be supprting Israel’s destruction of innocent lives? Of course not. The war between governments being acted out through the loss of civilian lives is an atrocious concept that the entire world seems to have adopted. In the same right, should America not be supporting every starving family in the Global South, find a cure for aids, stop world poverty and opression and hey, while we’re at it, send men to live on the sun? Is it America’s job to play the parent, to be fair, to help everyone on both sides of conflict. Would not equal aid to both sides be an equal double standard?
And then come the complaints about the spread of democracy. First the quote, "In few of the world’s 50 or so Muslim countries have governments offered their citizens either prosperity or democracy." They are, first, hostile towards democracy, but later in the article complain that the US has done little to spread equality or democracy. However now, living in a time where democracy in being instilled, it is being heavily fought against. Is there any consistency?
In addition to all of this is the idea of a religious war. The Muslims seem to forget that there are Muslim Americans as well. While I will not doubt that Americans themselves may forget, our government, I don’t believe, has. The issue has come when the Islamic governments have raised the flag of religious interactions and when these governments join together, as has been historic in action, against the said cause. If their cause is religious, then their religion has in it somewhere a flaw—a contradiction that endangers their own people as they stand in the name of Islam to kill the Muslim Americans who fight as well.
Some issues, however, I can see a point. This article was not entirely full of things for me to attempt to defend nor is that mine or the author’s true goal. The history of US militancy depends on who your asking for what cause. If you ask the one who is a "believer in peace—" an anti-war protestor or neighboring country to Iraq, they will say that the US is an overbearing military force that comes and changes everything to fit Western culture. However, if you ask that same believer in peace who is also protesting the cruelty in Darfur, they will tell you that the US is an inactive force that does not do anything to help when it sees conflict.
I can see the criticisms, the frustrations, the issues of dealing with ideas of betrayal and inconsistency. But I would ask that those countries look at the US for what it is and who it stands for. Is the US the UN? Should it be? Tell me honestly, what would you expect from a foreign government to do? It would be interesting to have the Muslims interviewed stand in my experiences and deal with my issues. I would like to see those who are complaining attempt to make peace out of continuous contradiction. Tell us clearly what you want and perhaps it may be achieved. But the moods that I received from reading this article was that of hopelessness and humility. Not because of what they said, but what was behind it—the God-like abilities and interventions that they seem to beg of a single foreign state, while its own people are crying for their own attentions.
I suppose in this I would remain behind my research paper in saying that the abilities and jobs of the government are limited more and more. Hands are tied by responsibilities to a variety of people. However as individuals within this free society, and as the Church of Christ, we are able. We have the ability to go where the "Americans" cannot. Where our government’s hands are tied, our arms are free to embrace. Perhaps the change in perspective cannot be relying entirely on a government serving its own, but on people who truly desire to see the change.

quarta-feira, maio 04, 2005

Every Night

Well, while my stubbornness refuses to desert my other xanga blogs, I would like to give this a try. It seems somewhat interesting and the title is very appropriate seeing that most of these entries will be random thoughts at the end of the day-- little somethings, everything appreciated (or perhaps sometimes not). The little undiscovered, night-time hide-away, nook'n'cranny place that perhaps no one or everyone can read, but when I feel poetic or just plain out of my mind-- it's my night spot. My one last thing, my whatever goodnight. Boa Noite, Gute Nacht, Buenas Noches, Laila Saieda-- add to them what you will. Until our dreams meet once again. Goodnight.

terça-feira, maio 03, 2005

The Search for Sleep

In a search for the ideal quote-- that which is the essence of purpose in this blog and a final respite of peaceful rest, I stumbled upon some close calls-- those words of wisdom that have captured other pieces of my heart, but did not manage to capture the whole of this page. However, I do deem it thus necessary to give credit where credit is due and it would be a shame to ingest such forcible and emotional words and not share them with the dearest. And thus is my humble introduction for those words which need none....

There are moments when, no matter the posture of the body, the soul is on its knees.
---"Les Miserables"

"Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep."
-Fran Lebowitz

Can I see another's woe, and not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief, and not seek for kind relief?
William Blake

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sun rise.
William Blake

If the Sun and Moon should ever doubt, they'd immediately go out.
William Blake

To see the world in a grain of sand,
and to see heaven in a wild flower,
hold infinity in the palm of your hands,
and eternity in an hour.
William Blake

To generalize is to be an idiot.
William Blake

The man who never in his mind and thoughts travel'd to heaven is no artist.
William Blake

Okay, so in my search I rediscovered and loved William Blake. You'll pardon me, but his words are poetry and beauty in themselves.... In his own words, "Exuberance is beauty." And so let me and us all be therefore exuberant and beautiful :D

Testing Pictures

Let's just test this and see how everything works.

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Check me out. What do you think? Does this blog setting work?