Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Notes on Introversion

I recently finished a very eye opening book called Introverts in the Church by Adam McHugh. (Yes I love to read books, and no it is not all I do). He put together a list of common attributes of introverts. And all of them fit me for the most part:

  • Prefer to relax alone or with a few close friends
  • Consider only deep relationships as friends (this one maybe less so)
  • Need rest after outside activities, even ones we enjoy
  • Often listen, but talk a lot about topics of importance to us
  • Appear calm, self-contained and like to observe
  • Tend to think before we speak or act
  • May prefer a quiet atmosphere (not always)
  • Experience our minds going blank in groups or under pressure
  • Don't like feeling rushed
  • Have great powers of concentration
  • Dislike small talk (sometimes I'm ok with it)
  • Are territorial- desire private space and time
  • May treat their homes as their sanctuaries
  • Prefer to work on own rather than with a group (not always)
  • May prefer written communication (although I'm not always very excited about journaling)
  • Do not share private thoughts with many people (except I guess on this blog)
Yay for being introverted! What I liked about the book is that it pointed out a lot of gifts introverts bring, especially since it is seen by the culture as a negative attribute. One thing that I really liked that the author said in the chapter called "Introverted Evangelism"had to do with a Catholic missionary to the Masai people. He said:
"I observed that Protestant leaders seem to trust only the sense of hearing, and therefore rely almost totally upon using the preached and taught Word to reach and teach people. By contrast, Celtic Catholics believe that God can use all 5 senses to 'speak' to people."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Long Obedience I'm In

         At the Orientation for New Staff in June, each of the 10 days we were given a free book. It was like Christmas every day! One of the books, A Long Obedience In the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson, caught my attention, but I didn't start reading it until yesterday. You know how it goes, you could be not in the mood at one moment, the next it looks uninteresting, and the next you realize you're still in the middle of 4 other books. So it took me until yesterday. But ever since I decided to go on staff back in January, it has seemed like quite a bit has been coming against me in the spiritual sense, and my faith has felt severely crippled. But have you ever started reading a book, and there is one line that just makes you start crying? Well, that's what happened when I read this line:
        "There is a great market for religious experience in our world; there is little enthusiasm for the patient acquisition of virtue, little inclinations to sign up for a long apprenticeship in what earlier generations of Christians called holiness."
         I'm not entirely sure why this line really got to me, but I think it was the Holy Spirit's way of reminding me that I am in the process of holiness, that I need to stick with it even when it gets really difficult, and that it really is a long obedience. (Which actually is a quote from Nietzsche, and I always respected Christians who read openly God-hating people like Nietzsche and see where God is in the things they say)
        Later in the chapter, Peterson quotes William Faulkner when he talks about the concept of the journey of the Christian life, and how monuments in our life may not be the best description of important points in our walk. Faulkner says: "A monument only says 'At least I got this far,' while a footprint says, 'This is where I was when I moved again.'" I think this is a footprint moment.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Prayer Worth Paying Attention To

The devotional I use, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants is full of wisdom. I just might post a lot of quotes from it, because it just rocks and convicts me all the time. This one I thought was very spot on:

All have sinned and come short of the glory of God

                                                                  St. Paul's Letter to the Romans

THE HATRED...                                     which divides nation from nation,
                                                                  race from race,
                                                                  class from class;
                                                                  FATHER, FORGIVE.

THE GREED...                                        which exploits the labours of men
                                                                  and lays waste to the earth;
                                                                  FATHER, FORGIVE.

OUR ENVY...                                         of the welfare and happiness
                                                                 of others;
                                                                 FATHER FORGIVE.

OUR INDIFFERENCE...                       to the plight of the
                                                                 homeless and the refugee;
                                                                 FATHER, FORGIVE.

THE LUST...                                          which uses for ignoble ends,
                                                                the bodies of men and women;
                                                                FATHER, FORGIVE.

THE PRIDE...                                        which leads us to trust in
                                                                ourselves and not in God;
                                                                FATHER, FORGIVE.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (St. Paul to the Ephesians)

-Prayer at the altar of the Coventry Cathedral

Summer Reflections

I like lists. Sometimes. Right now is one of those times. They are concise, and they convey a clear message. So here is a list from my summer!

This summer I have:

1. Moved home in early July
2. Gone to 2 InterVarsity trainings, one was 10 days long!
3. Gone to 6 weddings. Thats right, 6.
4. Starting running more than I ever have in my whole life
5. Seen a total of 10 days of sun in the 2 and 1/2 months I've been at home
6. Joined a book club
7. Have finished only 4 books. And one was Harry Potter 6
8. Have started or am currently in the middle of 6 books
9. Fundraised a bunch, but God did all the real work
10. Watched a ton of Giants baseball
11.Traveled to these cities: Chicago, Madison WI, San Francisco, San Jose (3 times), Santa Clara (3 times), Los Gatos, Union City, Fremont, Fresno, Clovis, Lake Isabella, Elk Grove, Roseville, Saratoga, San Luis Obispo (3 times), Santa Barbara, Sacramento, Auburn, Citrus Heights, Mt. Hermon, Santa Cruz, aaaaaaaaaand Paso Robles

Its been a great summer :)