Saturday, April 24, 2004

I found this while I was packing to move. It pierced my heart. I hope that it is working it’s way in me. I hope that it may bless you today;

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, “look this is something new?”

Did not God say, “forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland”?

Yes but…

Did God not say, “You will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give. No longer will they call you Deserted or Desolate, but My Delight”?

That’s true, but…

Did Jeremiah not say, “the Lord’s compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness”?

Yes, but…

Did Jesus not invite us to experience new life in Him at the last supper when He took a cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you”?

Well, yes, He did, but…

Because of Him, we regard no one, we regard nothing, from a worldly point of view. There is something new under the sun. It is life in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanks be to God! Let us join in confessing and living out the new life God has given us in the Lord Jesus Christ.

If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

O God, Searcher of our hearts, You have formed us as a people and claimed us as Your own. As we come to acknowledge Your sovereignty and grace, and to enter anew into covenant with You, reveal any reluctance or falsehood with us.
Let Your Spirit impress Your truth on our inmost being, and receive us in mercy, for the sake of our mediator, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Praise to the Lord Almighty

Not what my hands have done

Lord, I put myself fully into Your hands;
I am no longer my own, but yours.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for You or laid aside for You,
Exalted for You or brought low by You.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and with a willing heart yield all things
To your pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, son and Holy Spirit,
You are mine and I am Yours. So be it.
May this covenant I have made on earth be ratified in heaven.

Guide me O my Great Redeemer
He Leadeth Me

In keeping with God’s promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless, and t peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation. So be on your guard and grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 3:13-18)
May the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Alleluia! Amen. (1 Thess. 5:23)

O God Our Help in Ages Past

New Years Day Service
January 1, 2004

Tuesday, April 20, 2004


You cut me from my roots
that were working so deeply into the earth,
searching for some kind of nourishment,
all in vain.
You chose me,
and once I was loose,
You grafted me to You with your Grace.
Such beauty of movement and expression
reigned from this place I did shoot.
I drew in the fresh,
cool rain drops
of Your showers drenched with Love,
which inspired flowers to bloom forth into the radiance of Your days.
I Relished every flavour of fruitful abundance of joy created.
Narcissus and anemones, hibiscus and rhododendron, grew to the skies,
reaching for the stars,
thriving in the mists of clouds,
bathing in the warmth of the eye of heaven.
My terrestrial life has sunken below waters in time,
afraid to be son-burned.
The mango, pineapple sweet summers frozen over,
I sleep as in a bleak tomb,
my muscles ache to move,
reach once more,
stretch and work with integrity for promise.
To once again, thrive in such glory.
-Jen Boddaert

Last night I was buried and watered, drenched and left to soak.
I toiled through the dirt till the wee hours of morning.
Today I burst through and gasped for breath and found the Sun!
He scooped down and kissed me and raised me up to see further lands.
Lands to journey to, to work hard to be able to see and relish one day
The future is almost ripe for me!
I thirst to bite into it and taste that refreshing juice, feel it dribble down my chin and down my fingers;
It will quench this restless, stirring heat in me!!
But for now I am content to work in the dirt,
play in the dirt,
breath in this fresh, sweet, wholesome air,
soak in the rain,
dance to the drum beat that keeps me moving.
-Jen Boddaert

Friday, April 16, 2004

Exam time
To my dear Redeemer community;
I'd like to encourage every one doing exams right now to keep trudging!! ;)
Be mindful of your health and take care of yourselves, because if you don't take care of your health, you won't do as well as you could have. Take a walk and enjoy the sun on a study break, eat healthy food for snacks; doing these things instead of procrastinating and eating junk will help you better overall. Don't burn yourself out at the beginning of the summer! ;)

Also, don't forget to spend some time in conversation with God. Things are really busy and stressful, but if you wake up in the morning by having a little quiet time with God, the chances of the day not going so well are a lot slimmer. Make sure you are nurturing this part of your self as well. It is one thing that will give you strength to do what you need to do, perseverence where you need it and focus where you need focus.

“Mother Theresa recognized that assuming a posture of silence is the proper way to begin praying, for silence helps us listen to God. ‘I always begin my prayer in silence, for it is in the silence of the heart that God speaks. God is the friend of silence – we need to listen to God because it’s not what we say but what He says to us and through us that matters’ Thomas Kelly, a Quaker philosopher who dies\d in the 1940s also suggested that we learn to listen to God by practicing silence. Such listening in silence will enable us to hear God’s voice ad discern our calling. ‘Deep within us all there is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center, a speaking Voice, to which we may continuously return. Eternity is at our hearts, pressing upon our time-worn lives, warming us with intimations of an astounding destiny, calling us home unto Itself.’”

It is hard to find a quiet space. On campus, it is near impossible, but God will bless you for seeking time with Him, and for seeking His Will and being obedient to His call on your heart. What better time to come to God than in the midst of the business and craziness of life when we least have time to pull ourselves away? Bring your stress and fatigue and worries to Him, don't carry them in this busy and stressful time! ;)
Discerning Our Calling
(excerps taken from The WIll of God as a Way of Life, Gerald Sittser)

“I have not yet met a person who has heard God speak to him or her as one person speaks to another. For most of us our calling will emerge over time and through experience. We will discover it by simply living and learning, failing as well as succeeding, experimenting, and above all, listening. What we should listen for is not so much a voice from God but the voice of God as he speaks to us through reflection, talents, experience, opportunity, community, and the gladness of our own hearts.”

“We discover our calling then, not by trying to plan our life out ten years in advance but by being attentive to what God is doing through immediate circumstances and in the present moment. Over time our sense of calling unfolds simply and naturally, as scenery unfolds to backpackers hiking their way through the mountains. Rarely will we be able to see the whole pathway stretched before us at any one time. Sometimes we will only be able to see far enough ahead to keep going.”

“First we should look within ourselves to what motivates us. We must come to know ourselves – what captures our interest, what gives us energy.”

“A second critical element in discovering our calling is talent…good intentions are not enough, we must have the gifts to get the job done.”

Life experiences; “Sometimes what happens to us pushes us toward a calling… a college student who hated junior high school becomes a popular and effective counselor in a junior high school. A woman who endured years of abuse opens a clinic for battered women… sometimes the propelling event can be an insignificant experience that happens at just the right time. One event which appears to be very ordinary can have extraordinary consequences…The experience of suffering can have a similar effect…(There are) many stories of people whose suffering in prisons set them on a course of writing or gave them insight that they would not otherwise have had. ”

“A fourth factor in understanding our calling is opportunity… open doors can give us a clue about our calling, but so do closed doors. In choosing to pursue one calling, we eliminate other possible callings... We must therefore discern what we are not supposed to do…We must discern what is in us, recognize our limits, and allow doors to close as well as open.”

“The fifth factor that can assist in discovering our calling is participation in a community. Rarely does a person discover a calling in isolation from a community. Only friends know us well enough to size up our gifts, to listen to our dreams, to challenge our thinking, and to encourage our plans. They help us recognize our strengths and weaknesses and discover who we are and what we ought to do with our lives. God uses people as well as circumstances to help us discern our calling.”

“There is one final sign- the sign of joy. Some people believe mistakenly that we discover our calling by identifying the one thins we would least like to do, as if misery was the infallible sign of a calling. I disagree with that perspective. God wants us to live joyfully…We will know our calling not only if we feel driven to it but also if we find joy in it…we should not confuse happiness with joy. We will never experience complete happiness on earth… farmers must deal with weeds, entrepreneurs with fickle consumers, teachers with unruly students, ministers with lukewarm church members. However much we take pleasure in our calling, we will grow weary with our work, feel irritated with colleagues and coworkers, endure periods of boredom, and fight structures that make our work unnecessarily complicated. (Sounds a lot like right now finishing up a year of school and doing exams!! ) We live in a fallen world… Hard is one thing; miserable is another.
We might not always be happy doing our work, but we can nevertheless be joyful, taking ‘pleasure in our toil’, as the book of Ecclesiastes charges us to do. Such joy will come from knowing that we are doing something that is suitable to our nature and fruitful for God’s Kingdom work. Fredrick Buechner argues that amidst all the voices that are trying to get our attention and to give us direction in discerning God’s call, the voice we should listen to most attentively “is the voice we might think we should listen to least, and that is the voice of our own gladness.’ This voice of gladness, which reminds us of the joy we find in the work we do, may turn out to be the most reliable sign of all.”

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Ok, I'm going to do this, so you do it too ;)


*Driving to Timmy's with some of my girls and Rich > WHOOOO!!
*My Dr.Pepper lipbalm :) I used to use that stuff in HS all the time :)
*Hot Hot Heat > They are SO ROCKIN' I'm obsessed!! :D I have to buy their CDS as soon as possible!
*Chatting with encouraging ppl on msn and encouraging e-mails
*THE SUNSHINE!!!! :D Looking forward to summer!!
*Going to watch the rest of Last of the Mohicans with people who have never seen it :*) SO GOOD!!
*People at Redeemer who blog and who are such cool, amazing people :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

You are Janice.
You dig the groove man, nothing can bum you out.
Too bad you're too stoned to notice.

Like, you know, guitar, fer sure.
"Finding Your Past Lives on the Web"

"Fer sure, like, fer sure."

Peace, love and, like, granola, totally.

Her inner child.

What Muppet are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Man, I'm totally a 'blond' hippie a lot of the time!!! Course a lot of it is because i think it's funny... but, no wonder people aren't sure what to make of me...

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

I am not afraid to die!
I am afraid
not living.
'Grace'ing the halls of Redeemer;
The 'Grace' art show is opening tonight at 5pm. I would like to encourage you to come!! Some of the present and previous art faculty will be there to discuss the works that the Art 312 class has composed for this show. This was our major project and let me tell you everyone has done an amazing job!!

Come see our expressions of how Grace has touched our lives and has been cause for our art.

And while you are there you could join in on the Art-Design 110 student's Othello tournament :)


"what once was hurt
what once was friction
what left a mark
no longer stings
because grace makes beauty
out of ugly things"

Bono, U2 from
All That You Can't Leave Behind

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

I've decided I need Terry Tate in my dorm.... ;)

Our dorm; Devastating!

“With Terry’s proven techniques our dish washing is up another 46%”

Terry: "You must be out of your mind Drewbert, you can't cut the cheese whenever you please, that's just NNAASSTTYYY!!!"
Drewbert: "Cut the cheese!!?? I'm lactose intolerant!! That’s why I don’t like cheese! Terry Tate insulted me!"

“You respect the woman! or the woman won’t respect you!! You see this rock! It’s aimed at your head! That’s right, you run!” (Perhaps that will regulate the men around here)

“You use someone else’s stuff again and I’m gonna slap your candy a## more than I already do! You just did it, so I had to hit it! WHOOO!”
“You don’t steal a woman’s chocolate!!! That just aint right!!!! That’s not yo chocolate! You eat somebody’s chocolate again I’m gonna give you some of momma Terry’s special chocolate!”

“You’ve got a phone call baby, WHOOOO!!”

“The rest room’s a privilege, not a right!!“

“This aint club med baby!! You can’t walk around in the skimpity bimpity! This aint no hotel room servin’ on your every whim! You make yo own food! You do yo chore! You can’t leave your clothes lyin’ ‘round here!”

“BAM!! Those are our movies!!! You don’t return those movies, than the pain train is comin!”

“Richard! You wear women’s clothing again, we’re gonna circle beat you to the moon! That aint right! And that aint new! We don’t want none of that humpity bumpity up in here!! @%$#^ Richard!”

“There’s no problem with chillin’ when chillin’ is right! But, if it’s paper time, and you’re in game time, than it’s pain time!!”

“You kill the Jo, you drive to Timmy’s to get some mo!!!! That’s the way it is!”

Monday, April 05, 2004

"My secret jealous lover (my work) is always there waiting for me... he whispers in my ear that there is not much time left for what I am meant to do."
-Niki de Saint Phalle

Friday, April 02, 2004

Religion Majors at Redeemer – Are they really getting a taste of what other religions believe?

Was chatting with a Religion student the other day about the Religion classes here at Redeemer. I mentioned to him that I think it would be best for Religion students at Redeemer to take a mandatory World Religions course at a secular and multicultural university in order to graduate with their Major. My friend was not in agreement and claimed that it would be ‘too dangerous’ to let Christians free into exploring other religions, they could stray from the faith.
Naturally, I was taken aback and remarked that in the real world outside of Redeemer and the Christian schools many of the students here have grown up in, you will run into people of all kinds of religions and those who stand vehemently against Christians, whether they believe in an organized religion, believe in Science or not. I think Redeemer students, if taking Religion classes, should not only learn about the different religions, but immerse themselves in at least one through primary sources to truly understand the faith. I love Redeemer and think we are getting exceptional quality Christian education. This is why I came here! But, I wonder for those who have always attended Christian education, how they will be prepared for the world when they enter into the workforce without having engaged their soul in this type of journey. I suppose I speak from the biased opinion that it would be best to face these life questions which one encounters while being in communion with people of other faiths while one is taking the education and has professors and resources at hand in order to engage them.

I came from a non-Christian high school where I took a world religion class with Jews, Hindus and Muslims, people of various other religions and denominations, and was taught by a woman of a more New Age perspective. I found it a very rewarding experience! It was extremely informative! And not just on foundational beliefs of other religions but, I was able to converse with people who lived each day from that different faith and gain some insight into how they see things. And, I was able to tell them about Christ and my walk with Him daily. I took this course because I believed that I was too naïve to be able to talk to these people about Jesus without having any understanding where they were coming from. Now, that’s not to say I know ALL about a vast variety of world religions right now, but that I know a bit about a variety of religions now and that I have experienced the ‘tug and pull’ of them. And look, here I am still standing strong in my faith! No worries ;) In fact, that class strengthened my faith.

To me and my best friend, whom I took it with, it was not only informative, but challenging. Some of the other faiths, especially the Muslim and Jewish customs, I found I really came to respect. One reason, for example, was that they both have ritual prayer practices in which every movement, object and word they use; their entire body, is in communion with God and is focused towards Him. This was inspiring to me to see such pious devotion, self control and obedience.

How often do we take the time to stop and pray to God? How often do we literally get on our knees before Him? I generally talk to God through out the day. Often I get too tired before bed to actually stop my business and give him all my attention. My roomy is already asleep, I might as well climb into bed, get comfortable and snuggle and talk to God. Sure, it’s nice, but than I start drifting off to sleep. I know my mom gets irritated with my dad when he does that to her, lol, I bet God, who is jealous for me would desire me to be fully awake coming to Him to talk!

I’m not suggesting we acquire the good things from other religions that we see; that is quite a Westernized and New Age notion. But, through interacting with people from other religions, we can;
-Gain some interpersonal perspective
-Have a greater knowledge of the world
-Have an opportunity to share Christ
-Embark on a way of humbly being a witness without being naively judgmental
-Be forced to observe our own walk with Christ, our own foundational values and customs and faith like we never have before.
-Hopefully, feel enriched and more convicted in our faith.

These are things which I certainly found for myself.
I am still hung over from that enchanting encounter with the very 'manly' yet divine Dionysus at the ROM last semester. I would go see him again at the drop of a hat ;) Also, I am still dying to go see the Art Deco show they have on right now with interior decorations from the 1920's and 30's from France.

Today though, I was happy to go to the Albright-Knox in Buffalo with my art class. They have a well accumulated collection of 20th century pieces;

One pleasing late 19th century piece was; L'Ambitieuse (Political Woman) also known as The Reception, 1883-85 by Tissot

Impressionist pieces there included Pissaro and Cassett. There was a sweet little nude by Renoir. It was wonderful to finally see a real Renoir, even if it was just a little one. He always seems to paint such soft features as if a dream is imprinted on the canvas. There was a beautiful nude by Picasso as well, it had a slight Egyptian nature to it.

There was the Yellow Christ by Gauguin there. I found it interesting as the nuns bowing at Jesus' feet seemed somewhat pleasantly and piously bowing and not in any real anguish. The countryside looking like a typical northern France; rolling hillside with trees blushing red in autumnal weather. I found it interesting that he would take the Christ we know from his original historical setting and place it into his own while giving people the countenance that he observed them daily facing the crucifix with. The women at the foot of the cross not only kneel in peaceful reverence, but they skip about in the fields and over the fences going about the daily enjoyment of their every day observed countryside. It made me wonder how we face Christ’s broken body in the Christian communities that we go about in daily. Wonder about how in our daily walk, if we see Jesus there with us if we exemplify in joy what He did for us.

Cezanne is exceptionally more beautiful to see in the gallery. The lines of his whole compositional piece evoking a serenely moving scape. I’m increasingly impressed with his contribution and inspiration in modern art and yet he is still set apart in style and technique.
There were a couple Rodin sculptures. A Picasso sculpture of the head of a woman (She interestingly seemed to have some sort of dragon scales about her) and a bronze statuette of a Degas dancer, always pleasant :)
There was a Seurat and a van Gogh! Both amazing to see in real life! Their colour and texture enchanting!

An interesting Kupka caught me as the nicest of the abstract pieces; it jumped out of the mass of confusing abstract pieces like a butterfly, breathing a breath of fresh air upon my naïve aversion to the other modern art.

Around the corner I was taken with this piece and I must say, it has to be one of my favorite from today.

La Musique, 1939
Oil on canvas
45 ½ by 45 3/8”
by Matisse
I love the vibrant colours here. The exotic feel. I want to sit in on this setting before those large green ferns and upon that deep red seat, and listen to the guitar strumming, I can almost hear it. To eat that very red fruit sitting so invitingly before me. Taste, see, listen to the exotic. These women have been rendered in a flirtatious gesture, suggesting a welcoming, relaxing and pleasant atmosphere. It only feeds my desire to want to fly off to some marvelous place and taste of the spices of experience that may find me there.

Lastly, Kiefer’s die Milchstrasse (The Milky Way), 1985-87, took my breath away.
After doing an art critique on van Gogh’s The Sower a few weeks ago, this piece emanated in stark contrast. The charred field we sowed is symbolic of the mess we can make when we trust ourselves to know what’s always best. The gash in the earth painfully reminds us of the refining we need and the truth that God will intercede on our wastelands to pour healing back into our earth. The piece struck me right away in its symbolic nature like the pieces I am working on for my show. The giant gash and the funnel right by it, emits the main purpose of the piece much like the gash that the thorn in the side of the woman’s flesh in my piece does. The stark black and white depicting the listless ash of our existence and the powerful overlying theme of how God’s Grace breathes life and restores us from our desert wastelands.
Set me as a seal upon thine heart
Thou Love more strong than death
That I may feel through every part
They burning, fiery breath.
And then like wax held in the flame,
may take the imprint of thy Name.
Set me a seal upon thine arm,
Thou Love that bursts the grave,
Thy coals of fire can never harm,
But only purge and save.
Thou jealous Love, thou burning Flame,
Oh, burn out all unlike thy Name.
The floods can never drown thy Love,
Nor weaken thy desire,
the rains may deluge from above
But never quench thy Fire.
Make soft my heart in thy strong Flame,
To take the imprint of thy Name.
-Canticles/Song of Solomon 8:6

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Hello Lord,
It’s me your child, I
have a few things on my mind
Right now I’m faced with big decisions and I’m
wondering if you have a minute because right now I don’t hear so well and
I was wondering if you could speak up
I know that you tore the veil so I can sit with you in person and hear what you’re saying
But right now, I just can’t hear you

I don’t doubt your sovereignty
I doubt my own ability
to hear what you’re saying and to do the right thing
And I desperately want to do the right thing
But right now I don’t hear so well and I was wondering if you could speak up
I know that you tore the veil so I can sit with you in person and hear what you’re saying But right now, I just can’t hear you

And somewhere in the back of my mind
I think you are telling me to wait
and though patience has never been mine,
Lord I will wait to hear from you!
Oh lord,
I’m waiting on You!

~Sarah Groves