Haha! I’m just kidding! I love my big sister very much! She’s just a little impatient to see a post regarding this past weekend. Yes, it WAS Easter, but I think the reason she is so anxious about this particular post is that The Nerdmate came home with me to meet the family!
We had loads of fun. Thursday night we watched The King’s Speech with Mom, LittleSis, and BabyBro. It’s a really phenomenal movie, I highly recommend seeing it if you already haven’t. Then The Nerdmate kicked my bum at Stratego. I say it was pure luck due to the fact that it’s been ages since I played last.
Friday we went to Powell Gardens for Earth Day. It’s a lovely little place with huge gardens and lovely walking trails. Unfortunately, it was a rather dreary day. I will definitely have to take The Nerdmate back when it’s nice outside. That evening we went to church for The Sonlight Players drama Moments In Time. It was fantastic as usual, boys! Basically, they dramatize the Last Supper, The Betrayal, The Garden, and even Jesus’ Death. They’ve been doing this for years now and it just keeps growing. I’m so proud of them.
After that we headed over to BigSis’ house. The Nerdmate really got along well with BigSis and BrownMan, but I knew that would happen. BrownMan thinks The Nerdmate is too quite for me, but I think they just need to spend more time together. We stayed up late watching Top Gear, which The Nerdmate had never seen bever. I don’t think he previously took me seriously about how much BrownMan loves cars. He’ll learn.
Saturday we drove around the city and BigSis and BrownMan took us to this really fantastic mexican restaurant in KC called Rudy’s Tenampa Taqueria. The Nerdmate said it was the best burrito of his life! Haha! He’s so cute. He was a little in awe of the city. He had never been in a city before, nothing bigger than CoMo that is. CoMo isn’t hardly a city at all, just a big town.
Next we met back up with my parents. They were still working on trading off the van, so when they were done me managed to squeeze The Nerdmate, myself, LittleSis, BabyBro, Mom, and Dad into Mom’s new cute little Kia. Yeah, it maybe cute, but it was definitely not made to fit six people! Haha! It was an adventure. I’m pretty sure The Nerdmate is beginning to comprehend how crazy the Kelly Family is. God help him if he ever makes it to a REAL family holiday. We spent the rest of the evening playing board games. I think The Nerdmate is also discovering how much our family loves board games. He seems to like them too.
Sunday we went to church and it was fun. The Nerdmate met the Bestie and Peanut, he met FellowNerd, and many other people that have been important to me over the years. It was really nice to have him there with me seeing how my life away from school is. Both of us felt like we grew a lot closer to one another over the course of last weekend.
We’re both worried about this summer. He’s never been in a relationship “that was this good or lasted this long.” It makes me nervous, because he doesn’t have any idea how this works. It also makes me nervous, because distance was the breakdown in my last two relationships. I didn’t feel for either of them the way I feel for The Nerdmate, but I did love them. Still, the farther you are the from someone, the less you have to work at it. That person isn’t constantly there to remind you of the things you like about them. You can chose to not pick up the phone and have those difficult conversations. You don’t have to worry about them getting upset because you didn’t respond to a text, because the other person won’t be there to confront you about it. Unless you actively work at a long distance relationship… it will fall apart. I don’t want this to fall apart…
I hope it turns out ok, especially after last weekend.
Love scares me, because all my life people have tossed around that word like it meant nothing at all. It means a lot to me. When I say it, I mean it. There are many different kinds of love and just about everyone fits into one of those categories.
I say “I love you” to my friends all the time, because I do love them. I say it all of the time to my siblings, because I would do anything for each of them. As much as they drive me crazy some days, I love them with my whole heart and then some. I rarely say it to my parents. i believe that you shouldn’t tell someone you love them if you’re heart and mind aren’t in it. Don’t ever just say it to say it, even if not saying it makes the situation awkward. Deal with it. An awkward situation is better than misuse of such an important word. There has been a lot of animosity between my parents and I in the last several years. It’s getting better slowly, but surely, but I still almost never tell them I love them.
Part of this is because I have a lot of doubt when it comes to their so-called love for me and my siblings. My dad is getting much better about showing genuine love for us, but most of the time Mom and Dad have alterior motives. I must say, however, that sometimes they push us because they genuinely want what’s best for us. They want us to work our hardest and always do our best and continuously improve. I think these are the kinds of things most parents want for their children, mine just have a tendency to go a little over board.
The person I say “I love you” to the most is probably The Bestie. Every conversation we have(whether via text, phone call, instant message or face to face) we tell each other we love each other, sometimes more than once. The person I use the “L” word the least with… The Nerdmate. i used to say it to him when we were just friends, because I did and still do love him as my friend. he knows that, but he also knows that(for the most part) I won’t say it again until I’m sure that I’m IN love with him. This doesn’t mean that I love him any less as my friend, but if I say it now it implies something more and that is a commitment that neither he nor I am ready to make.
I really like him and I know that he really likes me. A few nights ago he said, “I feel very strongly for you and I’m glad that things are going the way they’re going and it makes me happy being with you.” That means a lot to me. I like that he doesn’t feed me B.S. He doesn’t try to say the things he thinks I want to hear, he just tells me the truth without necessarily trying to flower it up. He told me a while back that he can’t promise me that he won’t hurt me, but that if he ever does hurt me, it’s not because he meant to. That is a kind of honestly that we don’t often find in relationships. I honestly think I would do anything for The Nerdmate at this point. he means a great deal to me. I want to be able to help in whatever ways i can. I will be here to hold his hand when he needs that. I will help fight his battle when he needs me to be at his side, but I will also sit back and be his personal cheerleader when he needs to do things on his own.
I don’t know if that’s love. I don’t want to tell him it is in case it isn’t. I take love very seriously. I have some incredibly deep-seated issues and fears when it comes to love. I’d like to work through those things. I’d like The Nerdmate to help me.
Yes, it’s nearly 2:30 am here, but here I sit with a brain that won’t shut off. God has been showing me some things this evening and I had to get those things written down before I forgot. I think I’m on my way to figuring out what I’ll be preaching about over the course of the month of June this summer.
So far my theme is Reaching Beyond. I think the first week will be about ministering to our families. The next week will be about ministering to our neighbors. The next, ministering to our nation and the next, to our world. It’s still a work in progress, but God put that on my heart this evening and I’m going to run with it.
I also want t do a Bible study or a Sunday School class or SOMETHING over the book Out Live Your Life by Max Lucado. I got it for Christmas from my parents and I’ve read snippets from it before, but tonight I was feeling really restless and I sat down to read through this book and realized that God had been calling me to some things that I had been ignoring.
I’m also fairly convinced at this point that adoption is featured somewhere in my future. For over a year now God has been bringing the topic of someday adopting children to the forefront of my thoughts. I can’t shake the feeling. I need to help the orphans of the world. A little ambitious? Maybe, but somebody’s got to reach out to them. If I do my own small part, if everyone does their own small part, the world will be a changed place.
One of my favorite quotes is from Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I like trying to live my life by that. It makes me feel like I’m actually making a difference, even if I can’t see the product.
Currently, the lesson I am learning is that somethings are beyond my control and although I would like to help, there isn’t much I can do.
This feeling, it sucks. Big time. Especially since the one that must face these things beyond my control is The Nerdmate, which means that, inadvertently, it most certainly is effecting me.
Again, this isn’t really something I can write much about, because it’s not my place to go spreading his business around simply because it makes me feel better to talk things out.
Ugh! I just don’t know how to help. It’s not like he’s not trying. There are some areas that he could improve, but he knows that and I’m not sure how to be encouraging without it coming across as nagging. And the other stuff that he’s facing I CAN’T be of help, because it’s out of my power. Even if I could help, I don’t think he would accept my help, because it would be too much like charity.
so I’m stuck feeling like a broken record, repeatedly telling him that it will work out. Yay me.
I know it’s going to be difficult to give me advice on account of how vague this all is, but if you have any advice to offer, any at all, I’m more than willing to listen.
This afternoon I presented a paper on why having knowledge on the historical context of the New Testament is important and beneficial. I thought you, my readers, my interested in reading this paper A) because I’ve worked quite hard on it and B) because this is the kind of thing I’m working on here at school and I thought you might be interested.
The Importance of Historical Context
Most people who are familiar with the New Testament know it only on theological grounds. They do not typically know when it was written, who it was written for, or the context within which is was written. They may see these as unimportant insights or they may simply not have had the opportunity to expand their knowledge of the New Testament in these areas. Readers may abstain from the opportunity to understand the historical context for fear of faith crisis. However, knowing the historical context surrounding the New Testament is important, because it better allows the reader to understand the message that the New Testament authors were trying to convey to the audience of the time.
Religion played a big part in the lives of the people of the Greco-Roman world and, therefore, had a considerable impact on how they received and reacted to the stories about Jesus. The religions of the Roman Empire were vastly different than the religions most of us are familiar with in modern times. There was not much in the way of religious organization(Ehrman 18). They didn’t have set doctrines that were universally followed( Ehrman 18). Worship was based on the here and now, not on any sense of an afterlife(Ehrman 18). Individuals were not expected to wholly devote themselves to a single deity, and while ethics played a part in a person’s life, it was not because of a deep seated sense of obligation due to religion(Ehrman 18).
When the idea of monotheism began to develop within Judaism and early Christianity, it set those people apart. Inhabitants of the Greco-Roman world believed that not only were there multiple gods to be worshiped, but that daimonia and demigods existed and that all of these beings were to be appeased(Ehrman 28). As Ehrman says, “Jews, too, believed that there were immortal beings, far greater in power than humans, who existed somewhere between them and the true God… The difference was that Jews as a rule insisted that only the one Creator God… was to be worshiped.” People were apt to believe in and listen to the stories of Jesus’ miracles, because holy men and divine beings were prevalent in the Greco-Roman world(Ehrman 16). Just as other religions of the time believed that divine beings interacted with humans and sometimes appeared in human form, we find accounts within traditional Jewish teachings and outside the Hebrew Scriptures of men who seemed to have a special relationship with God(Ehrman 42).
Two such men were Hanina ben Dosa and Honi the “circle-drawer,” we know of both of these “sons of God” from the writings of Jewish rabbis(Ehrman 42). Ehrman says Honi “was given his nickname because of a tradition that he prayed to God for much-needed rain, and he drew a circle around himself on the ground, declaring that he would not leave it until God granted his request” (42). Like Jesus, Honi became a martyr of the faith outside of the city of Jerusalem around Passover (Ehrman 42). Hanina ben Dosa arrived on the scene sometime in the middle of the first century C.E. and was famous for his ability to perform miracles, healings, and exorcisms; like Honi, Hanina had the power to call on God for rain(Ehrman 42). In a similar fashion to what we hear in the story of Jesus’ baptism, Hanina was “reputedly called the Son of God by a voice coming from the heavens” (Ehrman 42). Each of these men are different in some ways than what we are taught about Jesus; they, for example, prayed for God to intervene, where Jesus performed miracles of his own power(Ehrman 42).
In today’s world, we see “son of God” and think Jesus, the one and only Son of God. It is important to know that that’s not how he was seen at the time of his ministry. He was one of many. Regardless of how similar or dissimilar Hanina and Honi were to Jesus, they were all three known as sons of God. People understood this to be a title given to someone who seemed to have been “chosen to stand in a special relationship with the God of Israel” (Ehrman 359).
Without this knowledge of the world that Christianity was born into, readers may have a difficult time understanding why texts were written and developed in a certain manner. For instance, each of the Gospel books tell the story of Jesus’ life in a different way. Most often we do not find complete agreement between the four books(Ehrman 51). This may be explained away by the fact that the earliest accounts of Jesus’ life were written roughly 35-65 years after his death(Ehrman 46) In the mean time, tales and teachings of this Son of God were being circulated via word of mouth, in most cases this was probably done in intimate small-group settings(Ehrman 47). Ehrman says, “They were told in different contexts, for different reasons, at different times” (48).
While knowing historical context is important, it can also cause problems for believers today. Because religion in the Greco-Roman world was viewed primarily as a way to find favor in the eyes of the gods, testifying to miraculous results due to faith in Jesus may have made converting pagans somewhat easier than what we think of today(47). Because these converts were made by telling stories of Jesus’ life via word of mouth, and because the interval between his death and our first written accounts of his life is so large, there is the possibility that the stories of Jesus we study today as the examples for our lives as Christians may be hyperbole or they may simply have changed due to a lack of first-hand experience with Jesus(Ehrman 48). Thus, when an individual is introduced to the historical context of the New Testament, his faith may be put to the test, because there is no way to know that the stories we have are accurate(Ehrman 49). In fact, they probably are not(Ehrman 53).
When faced with the idea that Jesus was not the only Jewish rabbi known as a son of God, we also must face the fact that this sheds further light onto the gospels. Jesus was not the only man that could perform miracles, he wasn’t even the only holy man known as a son of God. The writers of the gospels, therefore, may have made redactionary changes in order to show that Jesus was special even above and beyond these other sons of God.
For all we know, Jesus may have been just an ordinary man. We must, however, take into consideration the fact that as the stories changed, they retained the spirit, if not the facts, of the originals. As Ehrman puts it, “They were meant to convince people that Jesus was the miracle-working Son of God whose death brought salvation to the world and to edify and instruct those who already believed” (54). Simply put, sometimes it was necessary and acceptable to change a fact here and there to better portray the theological truth within the story(Ehrman 54).
This issue and others like it are bound to arise when looking into the historical aspects of a religious text, but the discrepancies and possibility of faith crisis do not nullify the importance of understanding the world within which an article of faith was written. After all, what kind of faith would it be, if it were without a working understanding of the very foundations of that faith? Often times knowing and understanding the historical context of these works can deepen our belief in them, because we better know and understand the way they were meant to be perceived.
As most of you know, this was initiation weekend. Thus, I’m completely exhausted right now, but it’s the first moment all weekend I’ve had to sit at my computer. There will be a post full of stories from this wonderful weekend, but now onto the current issue.
My school schedule is causing me headache AGAIN!
The times for that Concepts of Physical Science class changed and now it conflicts with Spanish, so it has been nixed. My roommate and friends and family members are going to hate me next semester. My boyfriend is REALLY going to hate me. One word: Chemistry. I’ve never taken it, but it scares the living day lights out of me. My impression of Chemistry involves a whole lot of math. Math and I don’t get along. I’m fairly good at math, but I dislike it a whole bunch. Unfortunately, Chemistry was THE ONLY science with a lab that would fit ANYWHERE in my schedule. *deep breath*
It doesn’t help matters that there is a massive storm outside. Don’t get me wrong, I love thunderstorms, but the power keeps going out. When the power goes out, the internet goes out. Enrollment opened at midnight and the power was still flickering at that point. I can’t enroll if the power is out. I can’t go to sleep until after I enroll.
Have I mentioned that I’m exhausted?!
I ended up getting enrolled just fine(other than the chemistry issue), but it just added to my suffering(yes, I’m being overly dramatic here).
Anyhow, I’d like to very quickly say hello to the two newest members of our blogging family: Cheshire and Twinings. Thanks for subscribing, guys.
Now off to Dreamland, I go!
I’m a dufus. In my hastiness about getting that SUPER LONG post done yesterday, I forgot to tell you what I’ll be taking next term! Silly me!
Concepts of Physical Science
Chorale(Hopefully! If not, I’ll be plugging in Ethics and Leadership)
Family Relationships and Values
Philosophy of Religion
The English Novel
I think it sounds like a very busy, but fun semester! Here’s hoping!