Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pictures Galore!

I was sorting through some of my pictures earlier today and thought that I would upload some to my blog! I never take as many as I intend to...even though I have an iPhone. Ah well. Please enjoy looking at my photos from my YAV year so far!

Deep dish pizza!!

This is quite typical for us :)

Beautiful scene from the deck of our cabin on the Elevation Winter Retreat

Um...not quite sure why I was doing this...but the skyline is pretty! :)

We saw Ferris Bueller's Day Off at Wrigley Field!

That is Kiva under the bag...this is what happens when we try and garden

Me, standing in front of the cabin we stayed in for our opening retreat waaaay back in October

So beautiful...I miss the quiet and serene campgrounds

We celebrated my birthday/Thanksgiving in San Diego. This was a restaturant
that had you cook your own steaks! I loved it, but I think Dad was unimpressed.
Paying to cook your own food isn't exactly his cup of tea.

Rebecca, Mom and I after our Thanksgiving Day 5k

Woo!! Thanksgiving with the future Mr. & Mrs. Alex Hydrean :)

SAN DIEGO! I love this excited to be visiting tomorrow!

I am really excited that June is almost here! Tomorrow I fly out to San Diego and Rebecca's wedding is in 1 week! Now I'm off to buy the supplies to make their gift...I'm always leaving this until the last minute!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May Devotion

Text for this reflection | 1 Corinthians 14:1–12
Pursue love, and use your ambition to try to get spiritual gifts but especially so that you might prophesy. This is because those who speak in a tongue don’t speak to people but to God; no one understands it—they speak mysteries by the Spirit. Those who prophesy speak to people, building them up, and giving them encouragement and comfort. People who speak in a tongue build up themselves; those who prophesy build up the church. I wish that all of you spoke in tongues, but I’d rather you could prophesy. Those who prophesy are more important than those who speak in tongues, unless they are able to interpret them so that the church might be built up. After all, brothers and sisters, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I help you unless I speak to you with a revelation, some knowledge, a prophecy, or a teaching? Likewise, things that aren’t alive like a harp or a lyre can make a sound, but if there aren’t different notes in the sounds they make, how will the tune from the harp or the lyre be recognized? And if a trumpet call is unrecognizable, then who will prepare for battle? It’s the same way with you: If you don’t use language that is easy to understand when you speak in a tongue, then how will anyone understand what is said? It will be as if you are speaking into the air! There are probably many language families in the world, and none of them are without meaning. So if I don’t know the meaning of the language, then I will be like a foreigner to those who speak it, and they will be like foreigners to me. The same holds true for you: since you are ambitious for spiritual gifts, use your ambition to try to work toward being the best at building up the church.

Having been raised in the Presbyterian church, I have never found speaking in tongues to be the deep and spiritually meaningful part of a worship service that I know it is to some people. But “speaking in tongues” also has the potential to be interpreted in different ways. For example, it could simply mean that the speaker is not being clear. Unclear speech can happen if the one speaking refers, for instance, to obscure theologians without context or uses vague terms that the audience does not understand and that are misunderstood and not defined. Unclear speech can also occur when the speaker does not make clear points or arguments and instead just prattles on and on.
I believe these instances of unclear speech would fall under the umbrella of “speaking in tongues” that Paul refers to in our reading for today from 1 Corinthians. This type of oratory does not build up the church, but instead only builds up the speaker. Instead of speaking in an unclear manner, we should try and actively work to communicate effectively to our audience using a clear language.
This challenge is not just for the pastors, ministers, and priests of the world. We, as Christians, have been challenged to be uplifting and supportive members of our congregations. However it is that you are involved, make an effort to use clear language and ideas. It is only by lifting up others in our words and deeds that we can hope to make a change in the world.

Lord, I want to accept the call to be an uplifting and supportive friend to those around me. Please bless my words and actions so that they are not just self-serving but also encourage and build up others. Amen.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Faith House's Daily Reflection Video Debut

I had to make a daily video the other day for work (obviously...I spend a lot of time working on those) but I wasn't in the mood for it. So instead I made my housemates join in on the creation. Check out the video below to see it! :)

In other news, Denis has left us for the sunny beaches of California. He felt like his time in Chicago was done and that it was time for him to leave. That means we are down to just 3 people in the house. We are housing 2 cats from PAWS right now, so we are actually back up to 5 beings living in the house! :) They are adorable (the cats, not my other roommates) and I will hopefully get a chance to post pictures of them soon!

Sunday, May 6, 2012


I have very important, future-life-plans news! I was accepted to McCormick Seminary! I am very excited to start classes in the Fall. That's really the only information I have to update y'all on (in regards to seminary...). I am also applying for grants to help me fund my 3 extra years of learnin'. If you know of any grants, send them my way!

In other news, I went to my first Cubs game yesterday. It was really fun....even though the Cubs lost and it was actually pretty cold and cloudy for the entire game. I got the tickets for free (!!) from someone on the Youth Committee at Fourth. (Thanks Janet!) I took my friend Elena with me. She is a graduating Senior from Loyola. I met her back in September at PAWS. She is awesome and I am sad that she is moving back to Boston in a few days. But I guess I'm a Cubs fan now! If I plan on staying in Chicago long term, it was a choice I eventually needed to make. (Cubs v White Socks)

Today we had our sexuality discussion with the kids in youth. Kiva (one of my amazing roommates) came and helped facilitate the discussion. She works at a domestic violence prevention agency in Oak Park with the Teen Program. Specifically, she goes into the middle schools and teaches the kiddos about body image awareness, the dangers of sexting & dating violence, and more. The discussion went really well -- I was highly impressed with how well the kids handled the topic. I also had to make today's daily reflection video and had the kids work on it before we started. (Then I edited it much, much later...) Here's the link if you want to go check it out!

Then after Elevation was done, I bopped on over to the Angel's With Tails (AWT) event. AWT is a semi-annual event PAWS hosts downtown. They, along with other rescue groups in the Chicagoland area, bring dogs, puppies, cats and kitties down and take over the storefront area along Michigan Avenue. Well, typically they have it along Michigan Ave, but for this specific event Chicago asked PAWS to move it to a side street. I guess they have had trouble in the past with the sidewalks being too crowded. We were along Oak Street (mainly) today in the designer stores. It was a lot of fun helping out--even though it was pouring for most of the day. Chicago hasn't had many thunderstorms since I've been here, which I am not too happy about. (I love lightning!) But today the phrase "torrential downpour" would have accurately described the weather. Even with the rain, PAWS alone still adopted out over 40 dogs and cats!

Afterwards, I grabbed a quick dinner with a friend from PAWS and then headed back to Fourth to make the video linked above. For those of you who were wondering, it is 1000x easier to make these videos using an iPad than it is to use my laptop! You can say what you want about Apple as a company, but they know what they are doing when it comes to simple video editing software! I despise the "editing software" that my PC has. I'm sorry, but Paint has been the same since I used it on our old Windows '95 computer. You'd think eventually Microsoft would stop changing the look of the Office suite and instead fix up Paint! I just don't understand the choices they make sometimes....

Finally I hopped on the train and made my way home. Just in case you were wondering, the drug dealers of Chicago use the CTA to get around and move their product instead of just cars. I guess they're concerned about their carbon footprint as well.

**Side note about the Subject of this post. I started using the word "huzzah!" as a joke a few weeks ago. I recently realized that I now use it as a normal part of my vocabulary. I just thought I would update you, dear blog reader. Have a wonderful night!**