Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The God of Scrapbooking

1:43 AM

Hi my name is Joy, and I am a scrapbook-aholic. It's true! I am such a sucker for those pattern papers, 3D embellishments, and rub-on lettering! I guess it's because I love taking pictures and even more so, I love having a cool way to display those pictures. It's my way of cherishing my memories. I've been on a real kick lately. I finished (finally) my New York pictures from last May, and I just started a cute little memory book for my friend's baby shower this weekend. My favorite thing about scrapbooking is the papers. I suppose it's the designer in me that just loves well-designed paper. (I recently discovered a really cool new line from My Mind's Eye) I just love the ripping, the tearing, the cutting, and the wrinkling of paper to make it look just right.

In my weekly Bible study, we are studying Romans. Now, that's not an easy book to study no matter how long you've been a Christian or how many times you've studied it. You usually just end up feeling like crap! Well, we've been learning about being crucified, dead and buried with Christ, and giving up our old self, and becoming more like Him. Heavy stuff! And I really don't know why my mind went this way, maybe because during the lecture I was also remembering what scrapbook supplies I needed to buy this afternoon, but here's where it went.

God is scrapbooking me! I am the paper, flat and pretty boring all by myself. Then He rips and tears away things are displeasing to Him. He embellishes me with spiritual gifts and talents. The final touches are the images of Christ He imprints on my life.

I just hope I'm a cool scrapbook. It hurts sometimes to be torn. I don't really like being cut. But I always end up better for it.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Theology of Switchfoot

10:00 PM

Last night I had the chance to see one of my favorite bands in concert - Switchfoot. And what an awesome show! From the crowd surfing, to the stage jumping, to the just great music….Switchfoot brought an awesome show! But that's not all I love about Switchfoot. This band is very popular to the Generation X... men, women, boys and girls, we all seem to identify with this band. And I ask myself why? The secret is in their lyrics. Something about their lyrics, like theology wrapped in rock music, always grabs me. It hit me again last night listening to them rock out.

Several of their songs deal with the brevity of life ( Dirty Second Hands, Gone) and a seize-the-day type of mentality ( Dare You to Move, Meant to Live, This is Your Life). As a 20something trying to find my place in this big world, those songs jump out at me, charging me not to settle for mediocrity but strive for excellence. Especially right now, as I begin this move to Georgia to work for AIM. Its scary and overwhelming, but at the same time, its something I was born to do.

Their songs band us together ( Lonely Nation, Happy is a Yuppie Word, We are One Tonight, Politicians) as a generation not willing to settle for a spoon-fed type of existence and meaning. Feeling unity in today's day and age is an odd concept. Independence flies in America, in both a good and a bad way. I love that we live in a free nation, but I hate the idea that we have to do everything on our own. Belonging to a cause or to something bigger than ourselves is I'm not alone in all of this anymore.

Their songs praise a higher God and speak about the depravity of the human race. The song The Shadow Proves the Sunshine is very much how I see things. It says - "Crooked souls trying to stay up straight, Dry eyes in the pouring rain, The shadow proves the sunshine,The shadow proves the sunshine". And I love those lines because its so true and very much how God works, and what we are able to see in this world. Just because things are a little dark doesn't mean there is no light. Without light, there wouldn't be darkness. We wouldn't know the difference. Daylight to Break sings " Back in the tragedy, I've made a mess of me, My bitter means, my bitter ends, yeah , I've seen the irony , It gets the best of me , Dying to be made new again, again" The way this band captures humanity and spiritual growth is amazing and refreshing. It's refreshing to know I'm not the person in this world struggling with something that's consuming. It's given me a chance to connect with God again, with music and thoughts. For that I am thankful.

All this from a band in the Top 40.

I'm excited about their new album, Oh! Gravity releasing next month. They previewed songs Dirty Second Hands, Oh! Gravity. and My American Dream; songs which lived up to the Switchfoot quality of music.

If you haven't yet experienced Switchfoot, I urge you to check them out. You'll never be the same.