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Step up..even if you fail

Unfortunately tragedy has befallen many parts of the world. Climate change is causing extensive damage to many parts of the world. Some places in the United States are being pounded by overwhelming hurricanes.  Other areas are experiencing horrific wildfires. Still other parts of the world are facing earthquakes, droughts, famine, and flooding.  People's homes have been destroyed. Many families and individuals have lost everything they own. It seems reasonable that citizens could look to their government for support and encouragement in the midst of these tragedies. Yet, numerous elected officials in the United States are balking at their responsibility to care for the people, all people, in this country.  It seems that providing assistance to those affected by these tragic circumstances isn't worth their while.   

If the weather catastrophes weren't enough, hate, bigotry, and racism are running rampant all across the United States.  Many of us would like to think, "Th…
Recent posts

God's not going to do it on his/her own

There is a homeless gentleman named Sean who I see quite frequently when I go downtown.  He usually is somewhere on the Magnificent Mile between the Walgreens and Water Tower Place.  I first met Sean with my dear friend, Laura, back in June.  Whenever I see Sean, I try to stop by and say hello.  I don't always have the ability to do more than that.
   A few weeks ago I stopped to say hello to Sean as I do, things were different with him.  He seemed beaten down by his life circumstances. His friendly, jovial disposition was gone. What he said that night has stuck with me and really caused me to think about what we are called to do in this life and who we are to be.
    Sean told me that he was mad at God.  That despite all the prayers he has prayed and all the prayers others have prayed with him and on his behalf, he is still out on the streets.  He went on to say that God is not going to do all the work on his/her own of getting him off the streets.  God calls upon people to ma…

Nudged by God into action

I am in awe of God's power to move us into action. 

Tonight I had a sense of God's powerful "nudging"--a push into action.  It happened this evening while I was walking home from class.  Normally I have friends who drive me home, and who, once again, graciously offered to do so tonight.  However, I felt a desire to walk.  

About half way home, I encountered a gentleman named Lawrence who was asking for money.  I have seen Lawrence  in the neighborhood before. He's a friendly man.  Tonight, he asked me if I could give him just $2 to catch the bus to the homeless shelter for the night.  It was the only way he would have to be warm this evening.  I had no money on me and told him regretfully so.  At that moment, I look down to see Lawrence's hands, callused and cracked from long exposure to the wind and cold of the day.  In that moment, I was moved by God's "nudging" into action.    I didn't stop to think.  I didn't question my actions.  I si…

Reflections on seminary, my call, and interfaith dialogue

So first of all, hello! I know it has been ages since I have written!  I suppose I felt at a bit of a loss as to what to write about, and I wasn't really certain that anyone was reading.  However, I have a question that was posed to me today that is weighing heavily on my mind that I would like to put out there in the hope that it will trigger thoughts and conversations of value in others (and hopefully with me).  

I am in the midst of my second year of seminary as a Masters of Divinity student. I came to seminary with the idea that I would not be pursuing a traditional ministry path in the parish, which I still have no intention of doing.  I do not feel as though this is where God is calling me or where my strengths are.  However, I did come to seminary with the (what now seems crazy) notion that I should pursue homeless and hunger ministry options because of my work as an AmeriCorps VISTA member and the experiences I had at a local homeless shelter during my time as a VISTA.  I w…

You know you are a nerd and take school a little too seriously when...

So I had a bit of a minor revelation today about my love/possible obsession with school today while setting up my new (functional) printer and testing it out.

Here is some background info on the revelation:
In case you didn't hear, I decided to pursue my Masters of Divinity degree at McCormick Theological Seminary beginning this month. As of now, I am about 2 weeks into classes as a seminary student. Additionally, as some of you know, I have often said that I think the ideal job for me would be to be able to get paid to take classes at colleges and universities around the world. At the end of each term, I would critique the overall class experience and provide extensive feedback for the instructors on ways to improve their courses and better reach their students. Awesome--I know!!!

Listed below are the top ways I realized you should know you take school seriously. See what you think!

Your desk is about 3 times larger than your kitchen table. (See picture for proof)You are willing t…

Hello out there?

This came to mind today after completing my most recent anyone out there actually reading this?

Blogs seem like this potentially awesome way of sharing your life experiences with others. I can't help but wonder this after seeing my 6 (ish) followers listed. Does anyone really care? Or is my blog more of a way for me send thoughts about my life into an endless oblivion? Is it essentially an online journal--one that keeps me from getting to those deep, challenging emotions--just in case someone actually does get around to reading it?

We have all these incredible technological advances, and people always say that we are better connected because of them. I can't help but wonder if this is really true. Are we really better connected? Or do we just think that? How well do you really know your "friends"? Do they really know what is going on in your life? Is technology just a means of keeping people an arm's length away from us at all times under guise of "…

Approaching the finish line

15 days. That is all that is left of my VISTA year (including weekends). Where has the time gone? In some ways it seems just like yesterday that I attended PSO (Pre-Service Orientation) in Lombard, Illinois before officially starting as a VISTA (volunteer in service to America). I have spent the last 11+ months volunteering/working as an Iowa Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA in the Office of Service-Learning and Campus Engagement at Coe College (long title, I know). It's hard to believe I have just a few weeks left.

So much has changed in the last 11 months--personally, professionally, academically, etc. I came into this position knowing that I had not fully completed my education. I think I have known from a young age that I would be going to grad school. I just didn't know what degree I would be pursuing. Philosophy? Religion? Student Affairs? Seminary? I think it is quite possible that I considered all of those and several others during my time here at Coe. Choosing wha…