Sunday, April 27, 2008

how did I change really?

From college till now.

1.) I don't hate men.
2.) I understand more of who I am and what God intends of me.
3.) I speak up more about what I believe in.
4.) I actually go out and help people.
5.) I actually like church.
6.) I finally feel at home at church instead of being at a rock show or wierded out.
7.) I actually am in check with my pattern sins and trying to do something about them.
8.) I like a sense of stability and understand what it is be part of something bigger than me.
9.) I am more outspoken.
10.)I have looked into issues and have decided where I stand on them.
11.)I like trains. :)
12.)I enjoy watching baseball more than before, though I did go to games before in college.

what didnt change

1.) I still like soccer.
2.) I still like tennis
3.) I still want to help others.
4.) I still don't smoke.
5.) I still don't swear.
6.) I still don't drink excessively.
7.) I still want to be a missionary.
8.) I still am fascinated with other cultures.
9.) I still like traveling
10.)I still am conservative in the way I dress.
11.)I still read my bible daily.
12.)I still read books a lot.
13.)I still like to go outside for a good run when frustrated.
14.)I still like practical gifts.
15.)I still love emo music, and other various genres.
16.)I still like kermit the frog.
17.)I still like getting A's on things.
18.)I still like languages.
19.)I still like to watch video games and not play them so much.
20.)I still like art a lot.
21.)I still like architecture a lot and am quite fascinated with buildings.
22.)I still love saving the environment and recycling every chance I get.
23.)I still love silly B romantic comedies that make me smile and escape from reality.
24.)I still dress in my nerd punk surfer style.
25.)I still like being outside for good walks in the park.
26.)I still believe in Jesus as my savior.
27.)I still believe in a trinitarian God.
28.)I still go to church every Sunday not out of guilt or routine.
29.)I still enjoy acting like a kid to enjoy the little things in life.
30.)I still can be obsessive about blogging and being online.

I could go on for a while, but I am gonna stop. I think I am still me by and large, maybe just a little more defined me who isn't afraid to stand up for what she believes.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Conversion Part Deux

So in light that I never finish anything that I start on here. I think I am actually going to try this time, at least get part 2 down.

So recap, read about Catholics unknowingly, visited a Catholic Cathedral due to the beauty of its architecture, was contemplating the showiness of my current church, and I had spent the summers working with quite a few Catholics.

1.) Going back to working at HP, we had a lot of Polish and foreign students. I remember that not to say this was me, but simply a God thing, but since God was making me stronger in my faith after that first summer of college of being disoriented and falling. I had a revival in my faith, and I guess that came out. I remember hearing about the Polish and Slavakians coming back from mass on Sunday and being all excited about it. I think I thought to myself that I was like, well I guess that being in a former communist country would make you mighty happy about going to church, even though at the time it was odd to me because they were Catholic. But I thought, well Americans are lazy, and are disengaged about who Jesus is. To really be excited about it. And also I remember them saying it was the same mass as it was at home. I thought that was odd. I remember M telling me that this had to be really boring, and probably was why people were disengaged. ??? I also remember M telling me to date MF even though I remember saying he was a Catholic, maybe M thought he could be converted?

2.) Now to the defining class. NT Spring 2005. I took this class specifically as a senior for two reasons. It was going to be easy, and it would help me to exit the Union bubble, really understanding the meat behind my beliefs. Dr. VN was a compelling teacher who forced me to think. I took my daily responses very seriously. I tried to grasp all the things taught in that class, because it was who I was as a Christian. There was ideas about the authority of the church that really hit me. He expressed his ideals that the church should have more authority than it did. Maybe even to say that it should have its own judicial system, as it seemed to lack that presently within the baptist church. He also emphasized the importance of community and how if you weren't an active member in a church then you were missing out in part of God's graces. With scripture he emphasized that there was only one interpretation of it but many applications for it. And lastly, he emphasized communion, because this was something that was important enough to do every Sunday at least. I need to remember why he thought it so important but yeah got me thinking, why the heck do us presbys and non-denoms only do it when we feel like it?

3.) Nothing against my family, I absolutely love them, with all their quirks and insecurities, and graces God blesses them with. However, generations have emphasized an anti-Catholic theme in our extended family. I believe it all is based off of misinformation and fear of the unknown. So one aunt and uncle and cousins are Greek Orthodox, and they are kind of thought odd to the rest of our family. After really interacting with a true Greek young woman, I have learned that their behavior makes sense. Its a totally different culture, sometimes very hard to understand within my ideal of less is better. But there mannerisms were nothing against us, that is just them. Their culture is a big part of their life. And so what I want to say with this is that the rest of my family thinks this particular family is Catholic. I guess in the greater sense they are pretty close to it, but if you ask a Greek Orthodox person if they are Catholic and they will say they are Greek not Catholic in the Roman rite (what most American Catholics are, and a good portion of other places as well.) But yes, so this family is the representation of Catholics to my immediate family, they judge as all of us do, their faults many, but they are still people. But yeah, took a while to get this generalization that all Catholics are lapse Catholics. Not true at all.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Re-evaluate it all

First on a side note, I didn't get rid of facebook. I did however decide to use it as something more personal than I was. I decided that I would use it for more email like purposes and really seeing how friends were instead of just playing stalker.

Now to the main event. I came into the Catholic church last Easter, for the past two months, I have been thinking about that decision, trying to figure out where I have grown, what I need to work on still ( a lot) but really it came about from a classmate telling another that I became Catholic because of my now husband. As God is probably the only one that truly gets it, seeds were planted long before that.

Some of the first seeds, was that I decided to read a book by the famous protestant author, Philip Yancy. In this book he described how his faith had survived the church. Why would his faith have to survive the church, what was so wrong with it, why was it so unsatisfying? Well I know I was a disgruntled protestant with the church at the time. I could see so many hypocritical things about it. Like selectivity, or simple dissagreements leading to splits. But looking at this book again, I found something interesting, about half of these people that this guy found influential were Catholic, though I didn't know that at the time. People like Chesterson and Henri Nouwen were among a few of them. It now amazes me that this guy that was well known protestant had many Catholic influences and wasn't afraid to mention them. I think of how I grew up, how most protestants grow up, being anti-Catholic, because Catholics to us are the worst representations of Christians, they think that they can sin as much as then want and then go to church on Sunday or confession and be fine. And really a protestant as I was really could not understand what the deal with confession was, why some guy could forgive your sins.

2.) I took this class called Arts in Western Civilization with a sculpture artist, so passionate about what he did. He taught us about art, about how art showed what our culture held dear to our hearts, whether it be food, wealth, God, or in todays society pornography. He ultimately concluded that art was for God. This made me wonder what a lack of art there was in the churches I had known. I mean sure we had stained glass windows with scenes on them. But where were the paintings, the scenes showing the love of God, the acts of the apostles, the power of God, the grace of God. In protestant churches there is little of this, and to me this was sad. I was told by him that the St. Louis Cathedral was a place of worship that was so beautiful that it was a must see. He something along the manner of that if you can't worship there with all this beauty leading towards God, then I don't know where you can worship. And when I went to see it was beautiful, though believe me I felt very odd being there, because it was so grand, and a little overwhelming being that there were many things around that were foreign to me.

3.) A friend ES, made me think in my junior year about how church should not be a show. She said that she felt like the church I was going to her was leaning that way, to be a show. Something that they were proclaiming themselves more than God. This made me think, in someways it was true. Granted to have a beautiful voice and use it for God is not a bad thing, but to treat it like a stage was another thing. I remember, as I used this example earlier, how when I went to a Nashville baptist church a similar feeling was felt, that it was a show, and in this case a rock concert. The message was so simplified that I felt so disengaged. So ES made me think twice about production of things versus truth being preached.

4.)I worked at Hershey Park around a lot of Catholics. Some went to Catholic school and took their faith seriously, others while they had strong values, were disengaged from being part of the body of believers. It was an interesting mix. However, one person, MF, helped me to realize that Catholics did have more values than what I was taught, they did respect their families, and women more than I sometimes felt in my upbringing, though this was due to my own skewed view.

And I will stop now for a moment, because it is podcasting time. Pray that I make a point.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I am contemplating getting rid of my facebook account. As much as it sometimes can be a tool in keeping in contact with those around me. Other times, I think it becomes impersonal and almost stalker like. And if its not this, it can become something that is wasteful in time. I wonder if I got rid of this, how I would get along. Would I just call more people. I would hope so. Sometimes I like to have facebook to keep up with friends, but is it really keeping up with them in a way that they actually know that I care about them, or is simply being informed of their lives without their knowledge, which can sometimes be so removed from a real relationship that it becomes stalker like. So why should I keep this account? I guess I should do a Rory Gilmore Pros and Cons List. So I will
1.) I get to see what Friends far away are up to in pictures.
2.) There are fun quizzes to take.
3.) There is an email account included on the facebook account which is nice.
4.) I can remember people's birthday that I would not otherwise remember.
5.) I feel more connected with those in my past.

1.) I don't often communicate with my friends thru this form of communication and therefore actually feel less involved in their lives.
2.) It is a waste of time and can almost be a hindrance in productivity.
3.) When communicating thru facebook, it doesn't give a real sense of communication most times, especially thru the wall.
4.) I call people less, and sometimes get upset that those around me that use it call me less.
5.) It doesn't allow the personable communication that would be nice to have sometimes.
6.) Am I really friends with all those people?
7.) I like blogging better, its more anonymous.
8.) It detracts from the real sense of caring about those around me

yeah, I think I am gonna have to do something about this. I want to be authentic, and sometimes I think facebook in its entirety allows me not to be so. So if anyone actually reads this, I think I will be giving my two weeks notice to Facebook shortly and requesting real mail, at least accessing it for the wall and such. Because facebook is not helping in the long run.