things that make my heart heavy

war and its atrocities. (my parents have been watching ken burns' documentary about world war II on pbs)

stillborn babies. (in keeping up with john piper's blog)

the baggage my family carries into every interaction. (i just want mom to be free)

it's so true, i see it everywhere i go:
the earth waits and groans.

and for that reason, nothing makes my heart heavier
than knowing that there are hundreds
billions of people in the world


without the good news of Jesus.
without the freedom of the presence of God with us.
without the assurance of salvation from this excruciating, futile, defeated life.

i would have despaired
unless i believed
that i would see the goodness of God
in the land of the living.

so on that glorious day
i will enter His presence giving thanks
i will approach His throne with praise

not that He gave me what i hoped for
but that He gave me all that i did not deserve ....
..... that He gave me more than what i would have dared to hope for.

because He is better than anything i could hope for or imagine.
and my heart will not be heavy forever.

[isaiah twenty-eight : twenty-three through twenty-nine]


we're all so formulated.

sometimes i try to pretend like i'm not formulated. i say that i don't have a clear-cut opinion about some political issue, or that i haven't fully decided which side i'm on in some theological debate. my friend asks me what i think about abortion, or gay marriage, or gays, or tells me about her current meandering life situation, and i like to say that i haven't got it all figured out yet ... and maybe i never will, this side of heaven.

but i wonder how true that really is. (i mean, come on ... i don't know what i think!?)

i'm starting to think that we are all a whole lot more formulated than we say we are. we masquerade our 'open-mindedness' as being 'currently without an agenda or opinion' (which, i'd like to note, is not exactly the definition of open-mindedness). no matter how much i insist that i haven't got it all nailed down, as soon as someone else opens their mouth to say what they have nailed down for themselves, i'm right there ready to shoot 'em down and show them why they're so wrong. which means ... da-da-daaa ... i have, apparently, formulated something.

so why are we so quick to hop on the bandwagon of open-minded de-formulization? do we want people to find us humble, as we see those know-it-alls who are so dang assertion-happy, so annoyingly arrogant, so confident in all that they have formulated? are we afraid to actually make it clear to someone else what we think at the present time because we think they might (gasp!) disagree?

i mean ... what is going to keep us silent? what is going to keep us from speaking the truth?

i pray that the only thing that ever keeps me silent when the (formulated) truth is being distorted is that i know that it would do harm to the hearer by coming in my voice.

and that is a formulation i'm ready to make.


my name + a new song

i thought it would be good to discuss the name of my blog a little bit. it is my hope that the title is pretty clear in meaning, but just in case it's not, and just because i can, i'd like to expound on it.

confessions of chronic humanity.

yes ... i am chronically human. irreversibly depraved. undeniably broken. i go through life just like pig-pen from charlie brown ... it's like there is a cloud of dirt around me wherever i go. i muck things up. i track mud all over the house. and i probably smell too.

but the beauty of all this is that if i were not chronically human, then i wouldn't be able to experience the grace of God. hence the sub-title, a quote from paul reflecting on his former life compared to that of the other apostles: "by the grace of God, i am what i am ... as one untimely born, last and least of all the apostles, not fit to be called an apostle..."

by the grace of God -- by the gift of God -- i am unfit. completely and totally unfit. chronically human, so as to reveal the mighty power of the saving grace of God.

sadly, it's something i need to be reminded of time and again. that i don't have it all together, and i probably never will. that i still need Jesus every moment of every day. that there's nothing i can add or subtract to the wisdom of God, that there's no plan i can make that is greater than His, that there is nothing in this world that i can seek other than Him that will satisfy. that He is the very best in my life. that apart from Him, i am nothing ... i am human. flesh and bone ... ashes and dirt.

so until that glorious day, when Jesus returns to wipe the tears from all of our faces, to redeem the world and its people from futility ... i must confess that i am chronically human.

... aaaand here's a song about all that :D [it will be posted up on purevolume sometime soon ... also on xanga.]

is there something i can do
are there words that i can say
that would uncover something new
that would discover another way?

cuz i keep running and running and running
i think i've been here three times
but i'm afraid that if i quit, the world will see
and wouldn't that be a crime ...

i've been planning this for so long
and i like the plans i've made
cuz the world has got my back
yeah, the world that's gonna fade ... away

cuz i keep running and running and running
from the shelter of Your hands
cuz if i listen to Your voice, i might obey
and then what of my plans?

how could i forget
that i need You
that i haven't arrived yet

how could i not know
that if i seek You
all the rest will follow

how could i have thought
that i knew best
in all that i sought

cuz You are the best
when all i see is my mess
You know the rest

and all the nations of the world
yeah, they seek so eagerly
but You promise me You know
my every single need

and i keep running and running and running
like i'm gonna die
cuz i can't see the end, and it scares me
that You're making me cry

how could i forget
that i need You
that i haven't arrived yet

how could i not know
that if i seek You
all the rest will follow

how could i have thought
that i knew best
in all that i sought

cuz You are the best
when all i see is my mess
You know the rest

maybe it's not about what i think
what i say, and who cares
maybe it's not about where i am
but how i got there

how could i forget
that i need You
that i haven't arrived yet

how could i not know
that if i seek You
all the rest will follow

how could i have thought
that i knew best
in all that i sought

cuz You are the best
when all i see is my mess
You know the rest




it's not something i've talked about in quite a while, and i think that says something. not that i'm no longer interested in race perceptions and relations, but that it's a topic that i used to constantly consider, and now it's become 'mundane' in the desensitization sense.

but today i was browsing my google reader [stinkin LOVE that thing!] and one of the blogs that i'm subscribed to posted a video about race in america in the new millenium, in order to kick-start a friday morning bible study on race and the Church (which, you better believe, i'll be going to). and i'm not going to lie ... it broke my heart.

it's the short version, less than 2 minutes. the long version is 7, and you can find it on youtube by searching "girl like me."

sometimes it's hard to believe how different someone's life is just because of the color of their skin. race is not something i am forced to consider or face everyday ... or even every week. people may judge me because of other outward things ... but rarely is it something so fundamental and unchangeable.

on youtube, some people were pointing out that the ways the questions were worded could be leading, or that we should be careful what conclusions we draw from this. is it really a self-esteem issue, or is it a reflection of what kids see in their classrooms? when the kid says the "nice" doll is the white one, and the "bad" doll is the black one, does that mean they are simply associating the dolls with people they know? and what would happen if the experiment were done on white kids? what would they pick?

but regardless of the wording or the "true" implications, there is something going on. there is something happening in our perception as a society of race. there is a trend in our society that links race and class, class and behavior, and therefore, race and behavior. and i haven't even yet mentioned value -- what is valued by our society, and how those things are linked (by trend, not rule) to different races, to certain races.

love your neighbor as yourself. value him, care for her, put their needs and concerns before your own. i mean, is it really that complicated?

this is not something i have to be concerned about. but it is something that that i should consider.

and so should you.


we could not ...

o Lord, You are my God;
i will exalt You, i will give thanks to Your name;
for You have worked wonders,
plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.

for You have made a city into a heap,
a fortified city into a ruin;
a palace of strangers is a city no more,
it will never be rebuilt.
therefore, a 'strong' people will glorify You;
cities of ruthless nations will revere You.

for You have been a defense for the helpless,
a defense for the needy in his distress,
a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat;
for the breath of the ruthless
is like a rain storm against a wall.
like heat in drought, You subdue the uproar of aliens;
like heat by the shadow of a cloud, the song of the ruthless is silenced.

the Lord of hots will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain;
a banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow,
and refined, aged wine.
and on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples,
even the veil which is stretched over all nations.
He will swallow up death for all time,
and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
and He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth;
for the Lord has spoken.

and it will be said in that day,
"behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us,
this is the Lord for whom we have waited."

we could not accomplish deliverance for the earth ...

Lord, You will establish peace for us,
since You have also performed for us all our works.
o Lord, our God, other masters besides You have ruled us;
but through You alone we confess Your name.

twenty-five : one through nine
twenty-six : eighteen, twelve and thirteen

i have arrived ...

at blogger. i've actually been snooping around for the past two or three months ... but xanga is a hard habit to kill. i suppose my love for google (and universal comment-ability) won out for now. we'll see what happens.

stay tuned.