Monday, May 07, 2007


This last week, I got the newest issue of Relevant in the mail. As I was perusing it, I came across an interview with Eugene Peterson, author of The Message paraphrase of the bible and many other sweet books. One of his comments on the power of literature stood out to me:
Throughout civilization we have lived by stories. Stories draw us into worlds bigger than ourselves. They help us live... Every time someone tells a story well, the Gospel is served. Stories invite us to participate, to identify the characters, to get caught up in the emotion of them. The Bible is essentially a big narrative that invites us to participate in its ongoing story.
For the past few weeks, I've been reflecting on the power of story. I've been studying the Gospel of Mark with my College Life bible study, and I see over and over again that when people came to Jesus with tough, incredibly significant questions, he didn't respond with lengthy and technical philosophical discourses - he told stories. Stories about a father and a son, some soil and some seeds, or a man building a house. I think that we all recognize the genius of Jesus when we see the power to convey the most powerful and compelling of truths in the simplest of stories.

This last weekend, I watched Stranger Than Fiction with Will Farrell. Monica and I passed this movie up in lieu of Babel a few months ago when it was in the theaters, but as I finally got to see it this weekend I enjoyed throughly seeing a different side of Will Farrell and a very compelling story. The plot follows the life of a IRS agent whose life is extremely dull and monotonous until he begins to hear a female voice narrating his life as his lives it. As the movie progresses, he finds himself caught up in an extraordinary life dictated by a storyteller that he has never seen, guiding and directing his life to a beautiful, bittersweet ending.

I think this is what the Christian life is like - we read the stories of scripture, and then we soon find them coming alive and bearing fruit in our own lives, sweeping us up into the grand narrative of GOD's redemptive plan to bring his Kingdom here and now. Now that's a story. See you soon.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


The week after I returned from Mexico, I was riding my bike to the music building to do some practicing for my recital. I had ridden my nice road bike that morning, which weighs considerably less. So after I came around a corner and went to take my hands off the handlebars to cruise, I immediately lost control and began to pitch forward. I started to flail my arms, and almost instantly I was over the handlebars and laying on the ground. The miracle was the I hardly hurt anything, but as I laid there on the ground I soon realized that my foot had somehow gotten lodged inbetween the spokes of my front wheel, when was then firmly lodged in the front fork of my bike. So there I was, laying on my back, stuck to my bike. As i laid there on my back, I had this sense of calm come over me, and this question came into my mind: "Why am I in such a hurry?"

Brian has a saying I remember from my days in the youth group: "There's two ways to learn something - the hard way, or from somebody who's learned it the hard way." Unfortunately for me, I often am unable to learn via the latter - GOD has to let me crash and burn before I'm ready to turn to him and listen.

This last month of school threatens to eat up my peace - working to raise the support for my bike ride, taking care of wedding details, practicing for my senior recital, riding 70 miles a week on my road bike, being diligent in my classes, and beginning to transition into a job working with students at a sweet church in Benicia. (Whew.)

But by GOD's grace I'll carry on - I'm beginning to learn the meaning of perseverance in a whole new way, but I'm still trying to be mindful of the balance between being responsible and being swallowed whole by the idols of busyness and anxiety. No more biking for me - I'll walk, one step at a time. See you soon.
"As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:38-42)