a poorly timed juxtaposition

[this blog post will be best paired with jackson browne’s “black and white”]

skirt v trash can

poorly timed pranks v sober news

today our new recycling can was delivered to the office. naturally, i had to take it for a test drive–for quality control. while in the trash can, i thought, what better way to christen the new can than to surprise kris as he came into the office. unfortunately, as kris walked into the office he was in the middle of an important phone call (how was i to know? i was in the can).

i jumped out of the top of the trashcan.

he finished the call that had announced a death in the family.

i’ve never been known for my timing.

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the only 1% worth joining

[this blog post will be best paired with louis armstrong’s “what a wonderful world”]

a case for world mission: why go so far when there’s so much need in your own backyard?

i have been going on a few trips lately, including a couple conferences at universities. when we travel to conferences, we go as representatives of hillside and world horizons to–more or less–interrupt the lives of the students we meet. many of us come into missions because someone interrupted the path that we were on and gave us another option. we facilitate interruptions. this includes meeting a lot of students and so we participate in a lot of introductions and question sessions. one of the more common questions students ask are “why international missions?” or “why go so far?” or “don’t people in america need Jesus too?”

yes. absolutely.

but america is pretty well looked after. people in america have ample opportunity to hear the gospel. so why go so far? four reasons:

  1. love
  2. i had nothing better to do
  3. balance the scales
  4. love

love

and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?” and he said to him, “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with your soul and with all your mind. this is the great and first commandment. and the second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. on these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets”

matthew 22:35-40

it is the first love of my God that drives me to love and love in action. and drives me to love my neighbor.

love is the thing that covers all and when we love, it is when we see urgent needs being tended to–including the most urgent need of all–making disciples of all nations. there are problems–big problems–everywhere, but when i think about the number organizations and humanitarian efforts and relief groups that are trying to provide for desperate needs, i think about how there is only one thing that will truly help. people don’t need a new organization or a new program–they need Jesus. we are truly working for the deepest justice–the right for everyone to have access to the gospel.

i had nothing better to do

while i was still considering whether or not to go into missions by committing to the internship for the next year, i was pursued a few options that–if they worked out–would give me a reason not to pursue something else after graduation. i looked into becoming an art academic advisor at my university, i started applying to work on a couple cruise ships, considered staying in alaska to work in tourism full time, and looked into a couple small art galleries. but missions was still on my mind. some of my options fell through and others i decided not to pursue when i realized that none of these options compared. i have nothing better to do with my life. why would i want to pursue anything other than taking part in God’s plan for reaching the nations? there is nothing better–there is nothing more worth my time.

balancing

when i first began looking into this internship, international missions were very new to me–becoming a missionary was never my plan (my path had been interrupted). on the home page of the world horizons’ website, it reads: “world horizons is a mission organization working among the world’s least reached nations.” when i read that for the first time, i thought, “well, yeah. duh. isn’t that the point of missions? that seems a little redundant.” and during my first day of internship orientation, i learned that 99% of missions go to places in the world where there is already access to the gospel, and about 40% of the world’s nations are considered unreached. 1% of missions are reaching 40% of the world. our director, kris, explains this by saying that if every christian woke up tomorrow morning and dedicated himself or herself to missions in his or her backyard–which would seem like a beautiful day for the church–40% of the world will die never hearing the gospel. 40% of the world does not have a christian in its backyard to share.

we go to help right that imbalance.

love

everything we do is bookended with love.

we go so far because we love.

drinks that match the ambiance: gunpowder, treason, and plot

[this blog post will be best paired with tchaikovsky’s “1812 overture”]

today is my favorite day of the year.

the fifth of november.

every year, on november the fifth, i watched v for vendetta, and i have it timed so that when it changes from the fourth to the fifth in the movie, it also changes in real life.

this year marks my fifth watch party for v for vendetta.

the annual showing has evolved since its inception–in honor of the fifth showing, i am taking time to remember something that each year offered:

2013–

for my first showing, i based the timing off the first date change from the fourth to the fifth (there are two in the movie because it follows the characters for a year). that scene happens within the first three minutes of the movie, so i essentially started the movie at midnight. there were a lot of sleeping friends in my dorm room that year–it presented a learning opportunity

2014–

this year, i chose to base the timing of the movie off the second transition from the fourth to the fifth. my friends actually watched the movie this year.

2015–

this was the first year that i made eggie in the basket for my viewers (a breakfast food featured in the movie).

this added greatly to the ambiance i was trying to create–watching a movie, in sync with the date and time on which the plot hinged, and eating the same food the characters were eating.

2016–

there were about 30 people in my living room this year–making it my largest showing yet. my house and my heart were very full as i sat with dear friends, family, and some strangers to celebrate my favorite day of the year.

2017–

this year, was a group effort–that made it particularly special to me. i don’t have a very large tv, so my friends, cameron and cassandra, said they would be able to host the party. i didn’t have a lot of snacks, so everyone who came to the party brought something to share. my personal favorite goes out to leah who frosted the v on brownies. as the party went on, other people took over the cooking of eggie in the baskets. things are better when they’re shared.

inlight

[this blog post will be best paired with kings kaleidoscope’s “light after darkness”]

And I will lead the blind

in a way that they do not know,

in paths that they have not known

I will guide them.

I will turn the darkness before them into light,

the rough places into level ground.

These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.

–‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭42:16‬

daily bread

[this blog post will be best paired with matt maher’s “lord, i need you”]

skeletons fighting over a pickled herring, james ensor, 1891

thoughts inspired by hebrews 4:

you give what i need

still i try to ration bread

purposed for one day

–forgive me for picking up

those things that will not sustain

“today if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts”

sorry, internet

i realized something today.

i do not like blogging.

okay, i knew that.

but i think i know why.

first of all, my life is a collection of one liners. so it can be difficult to elaborate on some of the things that i am thinking about.

second of all, my mind has been easily distracted since coming to live in richmond, making it hard to focus on an idea long enough to elaborate, let alone write out.

these are two things that i am working on and i recognize require diligence and hard work.

third of all, sometimes i feel like i don’t have the words to describe my experiences.

fourth of all, i’m not as much of a “word-person” as i thought i was. so i get to the end of my day–often times great days–and think “butts. now i have to blog about the great day i just had.” and it can’t be mine. i have to share it with the internet.

sorry, internet. you’re great and valuable, but sometimes i want my days to be mine.

but alas, i will continue blogging.

and i did have a good day today, internet. it was something of an emotional rollercoaster (as many of my days are–i feel a lot of things).

spooky snacks

[this blog post will be best paired with bobby boris pickett &a crypt-knickers’ “monster mash”]

happy halloween!

today i dressed as klimt’s “portrait of adele bloch-bauer”

here’s a visual in case you didn’t know what she looks like (withholding judgment for those who have never heard of klimt–google him).

thanks to this costume, i was awarded a half priced burrito and two free donuts.

this is trick or treating for adults.

picture day

[this blog post will be best paired with the bangles’ “manic monday”]

today we had staff and intern picture day–photo friday is coming early this week.

i am thankful for these goofs.

labor for good

confession: i have never been to a career fair. the idea of walking through aisles and aisles of trifold poster boards, stress balls with logos, and light up pens meant to carry the integrity of companies and organizations is not an inviting image. on top of that, i imagined having the same conversation with twenty different people–all listing reasons why they’re ahead of the competition, telling me to apply, followed by blank stares when they would eventually ask my major and i would reply with “art history.” who would want to spend time in a place like that?

i’m so glad that world horizons does not fit that description

last week was “missions week” at lee university, and it looked much like what i imagined a small career fair would look like–trifolds, banners, stress balls, and free pens–things that would melt the heart of any college student.

that is not what our booth looked like (if you can call it a booth).

our set up includes the least subtle banner in the world, two smaller banners. three gallery walls, and a carpet.

a set up like this is a little more labor intensive than the average trifold poster board. the majority of our first day was spent shopping at lowe’s, cutting plywood, carrying in supplies, assembling a gallery, curating the walls, and folding out banners. as we were moving in the walls of our gallery, another man presenting at the conference asked me if our corner was going to be under construction all week. i looked at him and said, “yeah, pretty much.” he shrugged and went back to his table.

yes, the set up and tear down is more work than the average booth, but we are seeing fruits from our efforts (and probably more than the average trifold poster board). at the very least, students were intrigued enough by the gallery to wander into our corner, or sit on the carpet with us. at most, fun creatives and marginalized majors are finding a place with organizations like ours because we have made the extra effort.

if you do what’s always been done, it would be foolish to expect different results.

i would have gone to a career fair to see something like this.