Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Almost there

I feel a little like a crazy woman.  6 more days.  2 more days of classes.  3 days of exams.  6 exams.  Home soon.  Miss home!  Will miss BJ!  So much to take in and spill out and work through and, as always, so little time.

Philosophy is good for me.  I think I've always been a philosopher and never really realized it.  All my workings through of the hilarity, insanity, and beauty of life, all entwine into a perfect philosophical knot, each part of which has a name I never knew before this semester.

But you know, this afternoon I was walking back to my dorm after a class on Sartre and his rather anti-biblical ideologies, and it struck me: The human being is very interesting concept.

I mean really.  A being, made in the image of the Divine Creator, fully capable of choosing.  That is rather a shocking idea.

So me, this little human being, is going to rush around with a lot of doing for the next few days and then it's on to the next thing for a few months.  Then back to the craziness.  :-)

Happy being human!
Sheila

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Thoughts of a RISEN LORD

So. Many. Thoughts.

I'm all a-flurry with thoughts of gratitude and prayers of wishfulness, dreams of delight and fears of the unknown.  I serve a God I can talk to, a Creator who cares, and that is the most beautiful blessing of all.  I only wish I could know His heart more in this moment.  So much is unclear, and I need to learn to live with that.

It seems that the longer I live, the more opportunity I have for experience after experience, and the more complicated I become.  How life is going to work out from here on in, I have no idea whatsoever.  Maybe my tiny heart will stop beating before I have a chance to see it all work out, but I can't live expecting that, I must plan for tomorrow, but I don't know what tomorrow will bring!

...

Inspiration is so ridiculously fleeting and some moments it comes and then it's gone and it seems with all the worlds and whirls of things to do and places to be I barely find time to revel in imagination and the sense of beauty falling softly all around me, like ten thousand tiny pieces of sparkle dust in slow motion.  But then it is in the odd moments, the study-for-test moments, where my mind is shot, the neurons just aren't firing, and there, in the middle of that hard work, I find myself inspired, I find myself grateful I find myself alive.

Phenomenal: I'm filtering the world through my understanding - I don't like Kant, but he's got that right, we're all filtering the world through our eyes, our ears, our hearts.  But then there's this noumenal, this existence independent of our minds, we don't need to dream up God or some sense of truth that is comforting to a frightened soul, for Truth does really exist, it lives, it reaches down, and as it reaches down I realize it is not an it at all, but a Sovereign God who loves me desperately and wants me to see, through all the filthy muck of life, that He is Good, Gracious, Loving, Compassionate, and Just.

He is Jesus.  And this week, this passion week, we look forward to His death.  We celebrate it, knowing that He rose again and is not dead.

So we spread palm branches for him in every corner of our hearts, shouting with the multitudes, "Hosanna!!!"  For He is King, and He is conqueror of sin.

So we bear our crosses, trudging up the hill to that place where He was beaten and pierced and gaze with drooping jaws as He bears our sin and then blackness covers all.  It is finished.  Forever.  For eternity.  So it is in this time, where I am still filtering reality myself, that I must live like I believe, for I do!

Serve Him!  Proclaim Him!  Teach Him!

It may be only Tuesday... but HE IS ALIVE!!!  HE IS RISEN!!!

Praising Him,
Sheila


Saturday, March 29, 2014

By Grace Only

Hi.  My name is Sheila.  I am a human being.  I am an adult.  I am a child of God.

I am blessed beyond belief.  I am learning, I am growing, I am changing, I am maturing - all by God's grace.  I experience wonder, I experience pain, I experience joy, sorrow, challenge, strife, frustration, anger, peace, love, fear, patience - all experienced by my Creator.  I live.  I will always live!

When moments tempt me to wish for what someone else has and I feel that pang of longing for what cannot be or is not yet, for what may or may not ever be, for all that I feel created for, I throw myself at the feet of that One who knows all before I ever express it, and the puddle of heart-tears melts His heart and I can rest.

But it is odd to realize that you don't quite expect your next birthday the way you used to.  It is surprising to touch my face and discover little reminders of deep thought, great laughter, and fervent weeping.  I suppose these years already are full.

My days are becoming fuller, swollen with the tasks a child never thinks of, but the years are becoming shorter.

Strange as it may seem, death is coming closer.  Threescore and ten is being eked of my frail life-stuff, too.

So often I'll be walking from one place to another, wondering how it's possible that I am here and that I am so blessed.  And then I realize all at once, that the little things I'm blessed with are gifts, gifts to spur me on to use wisely those seventy-odd years.  That little gust of damp air, the budding green, the birdsong, the feet I have to use, the hair that grows on my head, the books I have to read, the fellowship of loved ones, and other unexpected joys... their purpose is not necessarily immediately evident.

For I am determined to win souls to eternal Joy.

And I am determined never to forget or cease to notice those little blessings, for no matter how cold the cell, I have a heart that beats until He chooses to stop it.  No matter how dry the ground, there is an earth to live on.  No matter how scarce the food, there is always air to breathe.  No matter how bleak the winter, there are always memories to feast upon.

And so I sing:

Oh, to see the dawn
Of the darkest day:
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men,
Torn and beaten, then
Nailed to a cross of wood

This, the power of the cross:
Christ became sin for us;
Took the blame,
Bore the wrath-
We stand forgiven
At the cross

Oh, to see the pain
Written on Your face,
Bearing the awesome weight of.
Every evil deed
Crowning Your
Bloodstained brow

Now the daylight flees;
Now the ground beneath
Quakes as its Maker
Bows His head.
Curtain torn in two,
Dead are raised to life;
"Finished!" the victory cry.

Oh to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering
I am free.
Death is crushed to death,
Life is mine to live,  (No, His!!!)
Won through Your
Selfless love.

This, the power of the cross:
Son of God--Slain for us.
What a love!  What a cost!
We stand forgiven
At the cross.

- Sheila

Friday, March 7, 2014

Slipping By

Life is slipping by, you know?  This elastic world of time is being pulled and tugged in so many directions all around me.  I happened perchance today upon some little girl pictures of a childhood playmate and suddenly I realized just how much time has passed - her life now with her husband the past few years, and the world of childhood now gone from this moment.  The ladies I see around me, flinging speedily through time as well, were all once little girls with me too.  I looked at them as peers, and now their little children have peers of their own.

There is this sense in which I see that everyone else is at a different place in life than I am; either just leaving those childhood years, beginning it again with their own children, or setting out on a journey with their new spouse.  For me it's not so much that I pine after someone else's life as that I find myself in the most interesting position of watching all of this slide by, myself caught in a web of schoolwork, yet retaining the same quantity of life experience and crazy adventures as my married friends.

Where am I now?  Where is such a more accurate question than when, for when is relative.

And now I shall just go and ponder my Lord and His timelessness.  What a comfort that is!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Hallelujah! Grace visited me today...

I'm trying to study, and while it's not actually too hard and my brain doesn't hurt (yet!), my heart is too happy.  I do have concerns, life is never, ever perfect, but today, too much is beautiful to only fill this moment with chemistry.  That can come in a moment.  :)

This moment is so peaceful - I want to share it with the world, but you, reader, are my world, so here it is.  The grass is pale and clumps can be pulled out, but they are joyful deadness, full of seeds, brothers of which have given birth to the new, green shoots that intermingle with the dead.  The date is January 20th, but the sun is warm, and the breeze is soft, and even the pages of my books cannot stand still for the delight of it all.  The trees hang bare, but the sky is blue, the air is peaceful, the learning is bright.

There is this thought that one should not leave, nor go away from those you love, and I see that, I see that wisdom, but right now, so far from so much, I am simply glad God placed me here.  I could never have received all that I have just today if I had not forsaken much that is, indeed, good and true.    Forsaking one good, true, thing does not mean turning to that which is evil or false, but can mean a turning of the page, a finding of another chapter a whole world away.

The robins think it's spring, and flit and sing among the dead branches, singing of life that is yet coming.  Like our lives, so filled with hope of eternity in Christ, yet littered with bracken even as we sing our "Hallelujahs."  How soon we will be free from all the litter - yet how far we have to go until we get there.  What relationship we can have between, with our Great, Glorious God!

Relationship, I might add, that can dance me joyfully into service, rushing out of all that I am in Christ, delighting me in the hard things, singing to me in the pain, rejoicing me through the dead wood.  For this is not the end.

And tomorrow I'll sit again and listen to new learning, and yet my mind might be like all these birds, seeking endlessly for seeds of truth and the food of wisdom.  Where else might I so quickly acquire all these tools, these instruments of life-living?

Oh little bird!  I will not harm you!  May my soul be that delighted.  Rush through me, wind, don't forget my name.  Father!  you are Holy, Pure, Supreme and wonderful.  May everything in me sing gratitude and grace.

Allelu!!!

Back to classifying organic compounds for Christ's sake,
Sheila