Tag Archives: propaganda

The Gospel

Yesterday, in one of my classes, we were asked to shortly describe ourselves.  My classmates’ self descriptions stated their country of origin and their current profession.  So that would make me: Samara, American, studying TESOL in Thailand.

How very weak that introduction is. How void of the most important parts of my identity.

Samara. Daughter of God. Created to create. Loved to love. Accepted to accept.

I would say that that more accurately describes who I am.

Jesus and I will be celebrating our ten year anniversary pretty soon.  Ten years.  A whole decade.  I cannot believe I’m old enough to be celebrating a decade of anything… but that is a whole other issue.

With this memorial date approaching I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting.

Reflecting on my life. Reflecting on who I was and who I’ve become…and who I was while I was becoming who I became : ) [got that?]

A statement that I’ve been making a lot lately is that “christianity didn’t change my life, my relationship with Jesus changed my life.”

Every time I hear myself say this something jumps inside of me.  That statement is the most true statement I can make.  Nothing has had a more profound impact on me, my life, and who I am, than my relationship with Jesus.

I grew up with christianity.  I grew up with the stories, the rules, the systems, the commands, the expectations… but I didn’t grow up with the reality of the Gospel.  It wasn’t until that Reality became my reality that I was able to experience the freedom that has forever marked my life.

***

I recently finished reading “The Jesus Storybook Bible” with my Thai teacher.

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If you haven’t invested in this children’s Bible yet, you’re missing out.  I have yet to find the Gospel more beautifully illustrated (figuratively and literally).  The authors of this Bible have so beautifully pointed out how God has been working from the beginning of time to get His children back into right relationship with Him.

Every story whispers Jesus’ name.

For God SO loved the world that He sent His Only Son.

It was always God’s plan to send Jesus. Because it was always God’s plan to get His children back.

And who does Jesus pinpoint?  Who does Jesus call out for greatness?  Who does Jesus choose to befriend?

The Extra-Super-Holy-People?

No.

He chose people like me.

People who were lost, depressed, lonely, dirty, poor, addicted, deserted, alone, condemned, guilty, hurting, oppressed, possessed, angry, blind, deaf, dumb, doubting, drunk… the list goes on.

He chose whomever would chose Him. He chose the hungry. He chose the needy.  He chose the difficult.  The unrighteous.  The annoying.

***

I’ve been a missionary for about three and a half years now.

Demonstrating the Gospel is my job. Literally. It’s what I get paid to do.

So often the job demands of newsletter writing and supporter relations tempt me to act like an Extra-Super-Holy-Person.  I mean… that’s what missionaries are supposed to be, right?

My life needs to be clean. structured. organized. predictable. newsletter appropriate. and those knees better be covered… do we even need discuss the shoulders?

Right?

My paycheck depends on it… right?

Wrong.

Jesus’ Gospel wasn’t clean.  Jesus’ life wasn’t structured… organized… predictable and His supporters probably wouldn’t have liked His newsletters.  (He hung out with women and was at parties where people got drunk… I mean… you can’t really write about that kind of stuff…)

For God SO loved the world that He sent His One and Only Son, that WHOMEVER may believe in Him will be saved and have life eternal.

So that’s my Gospel.  Believing in Jesus and receiving that life eternal.  Life eternal starting ten years ago.  Life eternal now.  On earth.  Life eternal full of messes and mistakes and unexpected turns and hiccups and high highs and low lows.

Life eternal, right now.

Life with Jesus.

And that’s what I am in Thailand to share.

Not a good English education. Not an introduction to critical thinking. Not an education full of the creative arts.

I’m here to introduce my friends to Life Eternal. Right now.

Life with Whom you may converse. Life with Whom you may walk. Life with Whom you may be messy and unpredictable.

Life—Who will never change, never leave, never reject.

Life.  Real.  Messy.  Unpredictable.

Life with Jesus. Free. Safe. Abundant.

 

***

I was recently reminded of this video:

Not much I can say after that.

So to end this blog post I want to challenge myself to another ten years. Another ten years of Life.  Another ten years of greater intimacy and greater depth of relationship.  Another ten years of walking with Jesus wherever He may bring me.  Another ten years of saying yes to impossible situations and messy people.  Another ten years of taking risks and looking foolish.  Another ten years of failing and hurting.  Another ten years of Jesus picking me back up. Another ten years of Abundance walking with me.  Protecting me.  Guiding me.  Providing for me.  Another ten years of adventure.

And I challenge you too.

What is the Gospel?

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Bored of Education :: Propaganda

In honor of Caleb Lorensen and the beginning of the new school year..

 

::lyrics::

[Verse 1]
Dear Bored of Education
So are we, huh, so are we
At no point in the lives that we actually live do we sit in rows and listen to pontifications
At no point did momma pass written exams out on how to wash the dishes, no
She pulled the stool up next to her, at the sink, handed us a dishrag, like
“Watch how mommy does it, now you try.”
Learning by doing, such a crazy idea, it might work
Them stools felt like a magical ladders into an alter universe
Into the grown-up world
Informational portholes, wormholes, into other places
Where kids were equals, being made privy to information only those with
Driver’s licenses and facial hair had
Who knew we were learning, no clue Pops was teaching us time management
And budgeting, miniature project coordinators
He said, “Imma show you how to do these chores. And if they’re done when I get home
Then that allowance is yours. Maybe some ice cream’s involved too.”
Remember when we were in kindergarten, and you had to learn about worms, yeah, you went outside
And you played with worms, what a [novel] idea!
Dear Bored of Education!, huh, so are we

[Verse 2]
Dear Bored of Education, all I’ve learned from your system is that it’s just the system
That you set up. And if I just repeat what you just said, in James Schafer method
Then I passed, right? You’re just testing my ability to regurgitate
And if your best instructors are miserable, I’m pretty sure it’s not the kids’ fault
This pain I know first hand, the grand learning moments, the innovative lesson plans
That causes eyes to sparkle as if them students have just caught rides on shooting stars
These lessons have wings, only to get clipped, to fit, into the Low-Res JPEG. you call
“The State Standards.” Why do you insist this is still the industrial age?
My child is not a widget. And a school should not be an assembly line. Making my daughter’s
Diploma equivalent to an inspected by 2235 stamp
Dear Bored of Education, so are we

[Verse 3]
Dear Bored of Education, there’s not a Scantron on the planet that can measure inspiration
This is what our teachers pass on that matters
But you’d rather them do a jig to the tune of an AYP score
As to avoid losing WASC right?
NCLB got us shockin’ and jivin’, but you can’t measure a kid inviting their
Teacher to a Quincenera or a soccer game, or waiting rooms at free clinics
I can name ten kids off hand who would still be in handcuffs if it wasn’t for Mr. Singer
Nick Luvanno runs his own design firm. And he failed the exit exams twice. FAILED
Dear Board of Education, I mean, can we not Google when the Magna Carta was signed?
If your brightest stars are always dim, something must be wrong with your glasses
If every place on your body that you touch hurts, then your fingers must be broken
You are PhD.’s, you have five suffixes at the end of your names, you’re the people that know
A lot, how come you’re not smart enough to know that you don’t know what you don’t know?
Did anyone ever suggest, that maybe, we should test the test?
Dear Bored of Education, my dear Bored of Education, so are we
So are we

3 Comments

04/05/2014 · 17:45

G.O.S.P.E.L. propaganda

1 Comment

17/05/2013 · 18:14