Saturday, January 21, 2012

January Devotion

Passage for Reflection: Psalm 10:11-14
11 The wicked think to themselves:
God has forgotten.
God has hidden his face.
God never sees anything!
12 Get up, LORD !
Get your fist ready, God!
Don’t forget the ones who suffer!
13 Why do the wicked reject God?
Why do they think to themselves
that you won’t find out?
14 But you do see!
You do see troublemaking and grief,
and you do something about it!
The helpless leave it all to you.
You are the orphan’s helper.

When I first read this passage, the author’s idea that the wicked get away with evil deeds while the poor and oppressed seem to be punished really resonated with me. This seems to be a fairly common struggle in which Christians find themselves. The author, speaking on behalf of the everyday man or woman, feels helpless, unsure of his or her faith and sad that it appears God has forgotten to punish the wicked. The wicked enjoy living their lives of sin and appear happy that God has forgotten about them. All the while, the poor and oppressed seem to have the least of all and yet the strongest faith. John Fountain’s memoir, True Vine, illustrates this principle. Set in South Chicago, it is a story about a young boy growing up in poverty, surrounded by family members that exhibited strong faith in the face of adversity.

Echoing the psalmist’s uncertainty, Fountain thought when he was younger that God must only work in people’s dreams because when he heard people’s faith stories, the “moment of truth” always seemed to happen at night. It wasn’t until later that he realized God is constantly working through people. I, too, sometimes forget this, getting caught up in the indignation of verses 11-13. That is why verse 14 is so powerful. God does remember! It does seem like a big task and sometimes a little hopeless, but it helps to know God sees grief and troubles and is actively working to do something about it! He hasn’t forgotten the downtrodden- we as Christians are called to bring help to those suffering.

Dear Heavenly Father, please be with us as we deal with injustice, the wicked and our feelings of helplessness.  Help us to turn our feelings of indignation into opportunities for action. In your son’s holy name we pray, Amen.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

More Training at PAWS!

Well, I finally completed my Level 2 Kitty City training and my Adoption Counselor training at PAWS! As a Level 2 Kitty City volunteer I basically do the exact same things as a Level 1 volunteer aka whatever the Kitty City manager asks me to do. But as a Level 2 volunteer I get to work with the cats that are Level 2 cats. Usually these are cats that have bitten someone in the past or are just so stressed out being in the shelter environment that they are unpredictable. I also get a fancy green apron instead of the Level 1 tan apron.

As an Adoption Counselor, I actually do the adoption of the dog or cat someone wants to adopt. I had to go through training, shadow 6 adoptions and then do an adoption myself as a test (with a staff member observing). I took the test on Friday and passed with flying colors! :) Then I proceeded to do 2 more adoptions right in a row, didn't get lunch and stayed an hour and a half too late. Whoops! I finally just had to tell the front desk that I had to go home. I am really excited to have completed my training though! I have a special black apron for being an adoption counselor. If I end up staying in Chicago for Graduate School, it will be really nice to have a place to continue volunteering. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

I can't believe 2012 is here already! One of the things I am most excited about this year is happening at Fourth Church. We are going to read through the entire Bible by December 31, 2012. If you want to join in with us, then just check out this link here. There are daily devotions you can sign up to get via email, Facebook or Twitter. The first one has already been sent out and Kiva and I read it together this morning. I am also one of the devotion writers, so be on the lookout for mine!

What are your New Years Resolutions? Mine is normally to work out more, but this year I am instead going to work harder to maintain my long-distance friendships. I am really bad about calling/emailing friends to keep in touch. And since I don't live anywhere near the majority of my friends, that just means I don't see them/hear from them. So- New Years Resolution! Hopefully this one will actually stick and I won't just slack off mid-February.

I didn't do anything too exciting last night to celebrate the New Year. Kiva, Potts and I just hung out and watched TV. Mostly I was researching graduate schools....more about that later! Kiva and I are off to go explore Chicago some more. But before I go, I want to direct your attention to If you don't already know what it is, it is just a site for people to upload awkward photos of themselves and their family. There are some really good (aka terribly awful) ones up there now. Go take 5 minutes to check it out! Of course, after you sign up for the Fourth Church devotions. :)