Sunday, April 25, 2010

No More Dirty Water!

"but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." NIV (Jesus was talking.) 

I find this verse absolutely fascinating. This is because the Jews who lived in the Middle East 2,000 years ago understood the necessity of water. They didn't have options like we do. Here and now, if I don't want water I can have kool-aid, coca-cola, dr. pepper, naked juice, a double chocolate chip mocha frappacino, and basically anything else I could ever possibly try to conceive, it's available. If I don't want water, I can go a looooooong time without having it. For example, today I've had: milk, dr. pepper, coca-cola, and Crystal Light ruby red grape fruit juice... aka... not water. The Israelites had fewer options: milk, wine, juice (not sure if they had un-fermented juice..), and water. 

....they understood the necessity of water. Us? Not so much. 

Disclaimer: I'm not saying anything bad about anyone who prefers (literally) other drinks over water. That's just fine. This all just  an abstract analogy.

Water is one of the most beneficial things we have. Our bodies are 75% water. This is common knowledge. Here are some lesser known facts about dehydration.

  1. In 1/3 of Americans, the thirst sensation is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger. This shocks me, but at the same time, it makes sense. I see people time and time again (particularly in high school) searching and searching for some girlfriend or boyfriend to make them happy, but oftentimes, what I think they really need is the love of a Father. I know that sounds cliched, but I think it's true. I think we look to our friends and family and spouses and children and televisions and facebook pages in search of something that's not really what we need at all. 
  2. Research suggests that 8-10 glasses of water a day eases back & joint pain for 80% of sufferers. People hurt. God can heal. Never underestimate the healing power of a God who is almighty.
  3. A 2% drop in body water causes fuzzy memory, trouble with basic math, and problems focusing on a computer screen or printed page. Your brain desperately needs water to function at its best.  We desperately need God's love, grace, and overall goodness to function. We need God. We can pretend like we don't, but we do. 
  4. Sound dehydration statistics suggest 75% of citizens in developed countries are chronically dehydrated.  We are so used to living our lives without God, to getting inadequate nourishment elsewhere, that we're used to being dehydrated.
All of that just seems insane to me. Of course, all of these things about water benefits are only good if the water isn't polluted. I think the water we see is very much polluted. Just to give you an idea of what diseases that live in polluted water, here is a list! Ready, list is here: Amoebiasis, Cryptosporidiosis, Cyclosporiasis, Giardiasis, Microsporidiosis, Schistosomiasis, Dracunculiasis, Taeniasis, Fasciolopsiasis, Hymenolepiasis, Echinococcosis, coenurosis, Ascariasis, Enterobiasis, Botulism, Campylobacteriosis, Cholera, Dysentery, Legionellosis, Typhoid fever, SARS, Hepatitis A, and Polio. That's a LOT.

 There are a lot of pollutants that are living in the "living water" the church is trying to give. People aren't stupid. They don't want it.

Why do we expect people to drink water like this?
If Christ is our living water, if Christ is what is pure and good and beneficial, what are we giving them? 

What have we been pushing for them to take? Things that cause disease and pain? What have we been adding to the water?

What have we been feeding ourselves? 

If we're giving it to others, surely, we're drinking it too, right? What are we doing to ourselves if we are taking this in? How many of us live in constant pain because of the contaminants in our water?

My prayer for all of us, myself included, is that we get back to pure water. I pray that we find what is good and true and beneficial. I pray that we begin to extend pure living water to those around us, that we give good water to those that are thirsty.

"Oh God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is." -Psalm 63:1 (KJV)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What Will I Write On Her Arms, After All?

It amazes me sometimes to see just how God speaks to me. Today was an awful day for me. Everything felt fuzzy; my brain was FILLED with static. I will dare say that it was the devil trying to keep me from hearing from God. But that's not the point. Today was To Write Love On Her Arms Day. I spent quite a bit of time working on my "Love" on my arms. Thousands of people wrote "love" on their arms today to stand against depression, cutting, and suicide. To promote love and community and togetherness.

Later that day, I'm standing in the bathroom listening to my friends talk. They had all celebrated with me, and as we were in there talking, each of them mentioned where they would cut: wrists, stomach, legs, etc. God began to speak to me then. I looked around and thought "They are really hurting" something inside them HURTS and it just ACHES for something to come and heal them.

God took that thought, and posed a question "What will you write on her arms?"

What if we could see the impact we made on everyone? Written out, plain as day. What if our effects on people showed up as writing on our arms? What would I be writing? Anything at all? Would I be writing pain or confusion? Or would I be writing healing and love?

How would our actions be different if everything we did showed up as writing? If we could see it and everyone would know "That's the impact that Emily made". Would it change our actions? Would we still treat people like we do? Would we still be as passive, and continue leaving the bad words and the hurt on her arms?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Oh Wow. This is random. Pianos, Spring Break, Wasps, and Other Stuff Floating Around My Brain.

My brain has been going nonstop (more than usual..) lately. There's just been so much to process, so much to go through. So this blog post might be more than a little scattered. I will try to let you follow. Good luck.

First things first. Spring break is not good for my routine. Especially carefully crafted routines that keep me doing what I need to be doing. I'm actually really looking forward to going back to school. My most important routine had been to wake up early in the morning and read my Bible. On a typical morning, my alarm will go off at 5:45 and I will do my best to be out of bed by 5:55. I read my Bible until about 6:30 in the morning, which is when I actually start getting ready. I regret to say it, but this has been one thing that has slipped.

I can really, really tell when it slips. I'm just not the same. I'm more lethargic and cranky and easily stressed and just not as Emily-like. I would open up my Bible and try to do my reading, but ultimately, I'd get distracted and it'd just never get done. I have felt very guilty about it, and intend on doing better (especially once school starts!)

Other stuff:

SWORD meetings!

The SWORD Creative Discipleship Team is a group of young adults who are training to be (and being!) leaders in our own communities and wherever God takes us. We each use our own distinct gifts to add to the team, and I think it's fantastic. We're all from a bunch of different churches, but we love each other. I've spent every Friday night for the last month or so with them, and I just love it. I love having people that I feel comfortable coming to with anything, who are more than willing to point out my mistakes. I love learning from people my own age. And, I think they love me too. We had a lock in last week and we all shared our testimonies and stopped feeling like strangers. Then this week we spontaneously decided to invade Amy's house, and I ended up staying up all night talking to her about everything under the sun. (Seriously... I'm trying to figure out how everything we talked about lasted 8 hours... at the same time, I'm trying to figure out how it didn't last longer than that.) It was great. I finally found someone whose brain works like mine does!!

What else.




I hate wasps. I really really do. There aren't many things that I hate, but I truly think that wasps were sent from Satan to torture me. Evil, evil creatures. I've been stung twice over spring break, and I'm terrified of them. This is the interesting thing. I feel safe as long as I'm covered with something. I have this ridiculously thin jacket that I'll put on, and it makes me FEEL safe. I don't get it. Logically, the wasp can still sting me. But. I don't think like that once it's on. Once it's on I'm no longer exposed and my brain says I'm safe. It's quite odd. It makes me wonder how many other facadic (is that even a word? of a facade?) protections I have. How many things make me feel safe, but really offer no protection at all? Interesting. Worth exploring. Remind me to blog on this later.

Other new thing Emily has begun to do:

I'm trying to learn to play piano. I love the way it sounds and the way it feels. I just want to be able to worship God without having to have the right words. Just to say "God, this is for You. I don't know what else to say, so let me play for you." (Little Drummer Boy... haha.) I love it because you don't have to have words to go with it. You can just let go. (For more understand, please see my post about my brain. It's 3 blogs down.) I want to be able to worship like that. And it sounds pretty. Anyway, I've been trying to learn. I've been praying that God would help me and bless my efforts. It hasn't been "easy" by any means, as it's a completely new language, but I find it absolutely fascinating. It enchants me. Maybe one day I'll be able to really play and just enjoy it. But I did get a new piano today, courtesy of Amy and Kelsea! Kelsea got a new one, and let me have the old one. She's pretty. Her name is Clementine.

Okay, now you're probably bored. So I'll shut up now.

I leave for Honduras in 46 days :) WOOT!

Em! :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Do I Even Deserve This?

I have a friend.

My friend is beautiful, intelligent, and challenging.

My friend can be difficult to be around.

My friend challenges people's thinking. She wounds my assumptions. She takes my box, smashes it, and says "Look at the world around you."

My friend loves people for who they are. Even if they're gay, black, muslim, atheist, or different.

My friend doesn't understand how people can tell her which people are worth loving.

My friend fights for the rights of unborn babies with a passion that I never seem to see anymore.

My friend takes everything personally.

My friend gets judged pretty harshly sometimes.

My friend isn't a "church person."

My friend tells me when I've been stupid. We have this conversation a lot.

My friend talks faster than any other person I've ever met. Ever.

My friend speaks with confidence and intelligence.

My friend isn't the type to leave people.

My friend's heart breaks for other people, for babies in foreign countries without food, for women in abusive places, for children in broken homes, and for anyone who's known too much pain.

My friend spends time outside, just because seeing the world and fresh air keeps her sane.

My friend isn't really that sane, but it's not really a bad thing.

My friend is driven.

My friend shows me God's love in ways I've never thought about it, and in ways I've never experienced.

Some days, like today, I feel entirely too blessed to have my friend. :) She knows who she is, and I just love her. I am so blessed to know someone like this.