I got a new hair cut.

Bethany's Blessings

The Least of These

There's no place like home Auntie Em
I got a new hair cut.
beth0329
I have been busy. Nothing unusual there, I guess. My weekend was full. I headed home on Thursday and spent some time with the bestie and with my mom. On Friday I spent the day running some errands and got to have a face-to-face meeting with Marvin. He's a really nice guy. We met at Burger King and then he drove me over to the ministry houses. I'll just say it now...In about 12 days I will be at 512. It's a house on the west side of Modesto. There is a girl's house, 512 and a guy's house, 511. There is already 2 gals living in my house, neither of which are sold out for the urban ministry thing and then there's 2 guys in the other house. Devin is another not sold out person but Kevin is totally into the urban ministry aspect, has a heart for the poor and LOVES the kids in the neighborhood, which is really cool. Marvin also just told me some history about the house. My house actually has a basement that he wants to renovate, so that's really cool. There's a lot of room down there so we could do SO much stuff for the neighborhood. One of my goals in moving in is to begin helping to develop a similar model in Fresno in Modesto. So, it will be liking developing a Pink House in Modesto. I am really excited about it and also a little overwhelmed, but I think it's going to be amazing.

Then my uncle came into town on Saturday afternoon and got to come to my graduation party. It turned out soo great. Lots of folks ended up coming to the party. I just love spending time with people I love so it was soo good. Even Candy and Kim showed up which was really cool and totally unexpected. I will hopefully post pictures sometime in the near future. Then my uncle and I stole away while my mom and a couple friends cleaned up and went and had coffee. It was soo nice just being able to spend time with my uncle, just me and him. It made up for not having my dad there a little bit. Then my mom and I dragged my uncle to another graduation party, it was for Charlie, Rosanna's little sister. She graduation from high school. We had a lot of fun. It's kinda nice when you're not the star of the party and can just sit there and enjoy yourself, instead of getting up and down and talking to everyone. We all enjoyed ourselves. Then that night my uncle just spent the night at my house so we all just sat in the living room telling stories and laughing...a lot. I don't think I laughed so much over the weekend as I did with my uncle. It was so much fun.

On Sunday I ditched church and my uncle and I drove up to the mountains. Really it wasn't to go anywhere, just to be together. We pigged out at Applebee's and laughed a whole lot, got lost and found our way again with his GPS. It was so much fun. He headed back to Oklahoma on Monday morning and that day I met up with Kevin at 512 and got to know him a little better. He also took me to Tapestry, the high school group connected with YFC. And I also spent some time with Candy that night. It was a long day but pretty productive.

Now I'm back in Fresno for my last 2 weeks before moving back to Modesto. Last night was our last official Pink House meeting. Next Tues. will just be a celebration party and then people will begin moving out :(   I am really going to miss this place, this house and these people. I know I am going to be super busy right after moving out so I probably won't mind too much but I know there will be some point in the near future when I will grieve leaving. It may very well be the same day I move out. God did a whole lot in me in the past 10 months being here. But, I will leave that for a later post.

I should get off here and stop myself before I start down memory lane.

Shalom

a sort of prayer...
I got a new hair cut.
beth0329
Wow, so Rosanna is actually going to go to Jeff's court date...you know, because it'll be soo hard to wait around to find out the verdict. Maybe this sounds bad but I just don't know when this will be over. Will she start getting over this after he goes to jail? Once he gets out? I just feel like this will never be over. I really hope she comes to this conclusion on her own because I don't feel like I can tell her this right now but God is sovereign. God knows us so much better than we even know ourselves and (my opinion here) I believe that God knew Rosanna was never going to get enough gumption to break up with Jeff and God has such better plans for both Jeff and Rosanna. I just keep praying that both JD and Jeff are being turned towards Jesus even as they sit in their jail cells or wherever they're kept. I pray that JD remembers Easter Sunday when he got baptized and he was soo joyful. I pray that Jeff remembers his 2 boys and his little girl and how much they need their dad. And that those things would direct them to the only God who can save them from their feelings of destruction, depression, rejection, shame, bitterness, anger, hate.

God, comfort those who mourn.

A great weekend...
I got a new hair cut.
beth0329
I have had a GREAT weekend. Thursday was the last day of classes so that made the weekend great just because of that. Really, now that I sit here and think about the weekend there was several things that could have turned the weekend really sour but I just really had a lot of joy, despite it. But, let me explain...

So, on Thurs. night I ended up on Facebook while Rosie was there and we got to talking. I don't know if I already talked about this but Rosie was planning on breaking up with Jeff, about 3 weeks ago or so...but she kept stalling...for lots of reasons that I really don't want to go into at the moment. So, fast forward. Thursday night. I start asking questions to see if she has broken up with him yet and she says that she can't really tell me why but there's something going on with Jeff and she promised Pastor Chuck (PC) that she wouldn't gossip about it. While she is telling me this Amanda messages me and asks if Rosie is okay, because she was at church that night, crying while praying at the altar. So, at this point I'm thinking; What the heck is going on?? Not even remotely sure of what could be the problem. But I reassure Amanda that it's none of her business and she should just pray and tell Rosanna to feel free to call me whenever she needs to talk about anything...Friday morning; I get out of the PCC and Rosie has called twice, I call her back and find out that Jeff and another guy from our church are in jail. This article tells all.
http://www.modbee.com/local/story/713453.html?pageNum=2&mi_pluck_action=page_nav#Comments_Container 

Of course, Rosanna is a mess so she ended up coming to visit me on Saturday night and spent the night. It was a really great visit. Saturday I hung out with Amy and just relaxed, then Rosanna got to Fresno around 6 and we spent a couple of hours catching up in my living room; not a whole lot about the Jeff thing, but it was interspersed in there. Then went to Chilis for dinner, then came home by 10 and spent the rest of the night on my balcony. It was really nice because about 2 hours into our convo Sara K (next august's PH intern), George and Art joined us and we had great conversation till 2 in the morning. Rosie didn't feel like she should ditch out on church so we woke up around 7 and had breakfast together and then she headed off to Modesto. Unfortunately, she really wanted to talk with Jeff and hear from him why he did what he did and about 15 mins after she left she ended up calling me telling me she had missed his phone call. So, as of last night she still hadn't heard back from him but I'm praying she doesn't. His court date is on the 28th...Please pray for Jeff, JD, Rosanna and all family and friends who are involved.

After Rosie left I didn't want to go back to bed and it was such a beautiful day that I ended up putting on some work out clothes and my tennis shoes and did a power walk around the neighborhood and then spent a good while taking a shower and getting pretty for church, while listening to some great worship music. Got to walk over to First Pres (the church across the street from the PH) with Amy and heard a great sermon based on a very short passage, Matthew 19:13-15. Good stuff.

Then had a great lunch while watching TV, ran some errands with Amy and had dinner with her. Then enjoyed some time on her porch. It was just really good. And then today I actually did another power walk in the morning and got some stuff done. And went and say 'I love you, Man' with Amy at the $3 Theatre...Can I just tell you that the $3 theatre is amazing! $3!! for any movie that's there! Beautiful. And the movie was super cute. Lots of cussing, sadly. But good film.

And now I am telling myself that I need to be in bed. I am getting certified in CPR tomorrow morning, 8-4. It's going to be quite a long day, but I'm excited. It should be fun.

Good night all.

book...and the end
I got a new hair cut.
beth0329
It's the end of 5 years of college. School is over. Supposedly I have achieved my B.A. but I've decided not to say I've graduated until it's completely official and I have some important piece of paper saying so in my hands. That's all I'd like to say about that.

And now that school is out I am going to be a pretty busy lady. But, I am glad about that. Busy-ness keeps me out of trouble. Of course, P.H is still going on. Our last day is June 15th so I am going to continue to volunteer at the PCC until then, for sure. So, that'll be Mondays, 2-5pm and Fridays, 7.45-11am and then I think I'm going to serve at ESA twice a week, instead of just once a week, so I'll keep coming Wednesdays and then I think I'll start coming on Thursdays too. That'll leave Monday mornings free, Tuesdays till 6 which is PH meeting time and Friday afternoons. I think that's pretty fair. And it's only another 3 weeks. Crazy that PH is almost over. I am really going to miss this house and living with these people. But, no reminiscing yet. It's not over.

I just finished another book.

Impulse by Ellen Hopkins 666 pages

This book was really good. It's from the same gal that wrote the other two books that I've read. This one is similar to the others in that it's also written in poetry form and it's really neat because it takes 3 people who end up at a psychiatric hospital because they all try to commit suicide in various ways and how they're lives intersect. It's really neat. I liked it.

I am really hoping to get a lot of reading done this summer, but I know I am going to be busy so I don't know why'd I have more time now to read...but we'll see. i am going to try.

Ok, it's bed time.

Blessings


Torture and Christians
I got a new hair cut.
beth0329
This is a depressing article about the state of Christianity. Jesus made it very clear to love our enemies....why would torture be okay??

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/04/30/religion.torture/index.html

Blessings,
Bethany

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Another book read...
I got a new hair cut.
beth0329
Specials by Scott Westerfeld 372 pages

Totally wasn't expecting this ending. But I really hope he decided to butcher a trilogy and write a 4th book. He completely left it open to do so!

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Short update...
I got a new hair cut.
beth0329
I got another book done. I didn't realize it but Crank was just the first book in a type of series. The writer, Ellen Hopkins is writing from her experiences as a mother of a girl who gets into meth so the book I just finished is more of the story and I'm assuming that the 2 other books written by her are probably along the same lines.

Glass by Ellen Hopkins 681 pages

Lots of stuff has been going on but I don't really know where to start. And I find that I get into funks where I just don't want to have to type it all out. But, let's see. School is slowly coming to an end. We have the rest of this week, next week is dead days and then finals. Kinda crazy. I'm also doing some research into either getting my EMT license this summer or becoming a nurse's aid. I looked into Shasta College (Redding) and both classes are full but I could get onto the waiting list but that seems risky. Next I am going to look into Fresno City College and Modesto JC. And I guess whichever one has openings is where I'll be staying for the summer. But, I just have this inkling that no matter what I'll probably end up back in Modesto...but I would love to go with some certainty of a job. But, we'll see what happens. I've really just decided to let God handle it, He knows what He's doing...Thank Him!

I'm also planning a graduation party at the end of the month. Instead of walking the stage I'm just going to have a get together at my church in Modesto. It'll be from 2-4 on a Saturday so I'm just going to have appetizers and dessert and people can come and go as they please. Nothing formal or anything.

It doesn't look like my dad is coming, although he still hasn't admitted that to me so I'm still holding out some hope. I don't know if I've written all about that, but I don't think I have. Right after Easter my uncle and I talked and he told me that he was going to be the only one who was going to be coming to my grad party. I talked to my dad a few times since then and he hasn't even mentioned the party so I'll be sending him an invitation and we'll see if he talks to me about it. But the Wed. after talking to my uncle I got a good word at my church in Modesto. I won't write down all the details, but I will share the verse that impacted me so:

Isaiah 36.41
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

I am going to love my dad until I can't love him anymore, then God will renew my love for him and I will love him even more. On my own strength I can't love my dad. He's let me down many many times. He's continually pushed me out of his life...but God desires soo much more for our relationship and I am excited about the ways God is going to grow me and my dad and I through this. Amen!

Alright, Pink House meeting tonight...on Immigration! 

Blessings!



I'm on a roll...
I got a new hair cut.
beth0329
Two more books down...

Pretties 370 pages by Scott Westerfeld

I'm normally not into trilogies or sequels or any of that but this book and Uglies have both been the kind of read you don't want to sit down. I haven't read fiction like this in awhile. Next will be Specials and as far as I know it's over at that point. I hope to get that one in the next couple of days.

Jesus & the hip-hop prophets; spiritual insights from Lauryn Hill and 2pac 116 pages by John Teter & Alex Gee

Short little book but inspiring and perfect timing since I'm taking a history of hip-hop and we had a section about spirituality and hip-hop. Good stuff.

Blessings!



 


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I'm impressed...
I got a new hair cut.
beth0329
I got 2...yes, 2! books read over the weekend! I am so impressed with myself. I LOVE the train! That's how I was able to get so much reading done. It's great to not have to drive yourself or be a passenger, with all the added stress of having to keep them awake and all that jazz, instead I can just stretch out and read! Love it. So, here they are in all their glory...

Love is an orientation by Andrew Marin 201 pages
This book was really good! But I hate deciding what to say about the book and how much to tell, but 1 sentence really strikes me as kind of the epitome of the book, "It is the Holy Spirit's job to convict, God's job to judge and my job to love." - Billy Graham said this at a rally in support of President Bill Clinton, when a reporter asked Graham why he was there supporting this man after all he did to our country. I had heard that quote before but it really struck me while reading this book. It's simply not our job to judge anyone, that is all God's doing and I certainly don't want to take over His job.

Another thing that I wanted to comment about, especially since in one of my latest blogs my friend commented about the infamous "love the sinner, hate the sin" idea. And Andrew actually has a section in the beginning of the book about that specific saying. Marin says, "Among gays and lesbians, "love the sinner, hate the sin" is the most disdained phrase in the Christian vocabulary. If behavior equals identity, then hating gay sexual behavior is the same thing as hating the gay person...this logic has earned Christians a reputation for being extremely hypocritical and unrightfully judgmental...Clever catch phrases that try to make Christianity accessible to the masses don't translate to all different populations. As soon as we drop the notion of loving the sinner and hating the sin, the pressure is then off of us to drag a GLBT person from their current 'corrupted state' to our 'holy state,' just as the pressure is off of the GLBT person to continually build up their defenses to try to guard against the slogans that hurt them time and again" (46-47). I apologize if I've ever used this slogan as a token, Christian catch phrase.
There was so much stuff in this book that was good but perhaps I'll go into more later. Highly recommend all folks to read it!


Crank by Ellen Hopkins 537 pages

My pastor's daughter passed me this book. Very good. It's written in poetic form so it took a few pages to catch on to the rhythm but I really enjoyed it. Beautifully written and really gave me some insight into what this drug can do, in such a short amount of time. Powerful. She's also written several other books on similar subjects that I hope to read sometime soon.

And now I am nursing a very painful lower back that I believe was caused by a 4 hour long bike ride from Redding to Modesto, plus several other long rides throughout the weekend at Jubilee in Nor Cal. I was able to see my chiropractor this morning, he said, and a I quote, "You look like shit." I seriously did too. I was about to cry I hurt so bad and he's now wanting to see me tomorrow too. So, I hope the pain subsides soon.

Alright, time for me to get off here and into bed so I can keep reading my newest library book, Pretties, the next book after Uglies, the book that I already read.

Blessings y'all!


interesting article
I got a new hair cut.
beth0329
I think this article is relevant since I'll be finishing Andrew Marin's Love is an orientation soon. Let me know what you think:

 

Evangelicals need to love Gay peopleCollapse )

Jonathan Merritt may be the most courageous Southern Baptist in America this week for his USA Today editorial on how evangelicals need to love gay people. Even if we might take a stand that differs from his in some ways, those of us who know the world Jonathan comes from know he is showing remarkable courage to say what he’s saying and should be applauded and appreciated. He reports:

According to Public Religion Research, 37% of evangelicals ages 18-34 have a close friend or relative who is gay. Only 16% of evangelicals 35 and older can say the same.

Another hero in this regard is Andrew Marin, whose new book Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation With the Gay Community gently educates and thoughtfully challenges evangelicals to rethink some of their assumptions about gay people. I wrote the foreword for Andrew’s book.

By the way, Tony Jones continues to foster good dialogue on this and other subjects at his site.

And last but in no way least there is Wendy Gritter, who helped produce an extremely helpful video called Bridging the Gap. Its purpose is not to take a for-or-against position on homosexuality, but to create space for Christians, whatever their opinion on the issue, to learn to be more loving and Christ-like to their gay and lesbian friends and neighbors.

 

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And now off to the bus station. I am soo glad I'm headed up North this weekend! I am hoping to do 3 things; 1. go on nice long motorcycle rides 2. Visit a prayer room at some point and 3. Have really great conversations with family!

Blessings y'all


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