BY EMILY PALMER Dear orphan, Do not despair. You are my beloved. The world may overlook you; you may feel utterly alone. But I am with you. I know the number of tears you have shed. You lack parents in this world, but I have adopted you as my child. I am watching over you. I smile as you grow more and more into the … Continue reading Dear Orphan
BY JENNIFER YIM A pearly-white picket fence borders a two–story house, offering the impression of a safe embrace. The fence stands waist high—not actually providing protection or keeping intruders out, but there’s no real threat in this neighborhood anyway. Or this city. Maybe even in this state. Really, it stands to keep the squabbling puppies from running wildly out into the vast unknown. And rightfully … Continue reading It is Well
“Behold we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful”
When I ask friends or classmates “What are you excited for in the future?” or “What are your future plans?” I usually receive responses along the lines of the profession they are pursuing, or a specific event in the future they are looking forward to such as having a family, getting married, traveling. When I am asked the same question, my typical answer is, “I’m not sure.” Although this too is a very common and acceptable answer, it does not reflect my true thoughts. Since the last semester of sophomore year, whenever I think of the future, it is very bleak and tinged with hopelessness. Sometimes, I do not desire a future. Instead, I desire a future where I do not exist.
I have struggled with mild to severe depression consciously for seven years. When I was younger, the future was an escape for me when the present felt too unbearable. I envisioned that the future me would be happier and not weighed down by self-hating thoughts, feelings of alienation, or lack of motivation. I did not know how that would happen but just hoped that it would. But, as I progressed into the “future” I had imagined, that picture I had shattered. I was still the same. I still struggled with the same thoughts and emotions or void of emotions—but it felt somehow even worse with the added stress from being a college student, the difficulties that naturally arise in life, and the shattering of my vision. As a junior quickly approaching my next decade, I ask myself, “Is this what the rest of my life is going to be like? A future where I will continue struggling and alternating from one treatment to the next? A future where I will wake up many mornings wondering why I’m alive without the motivation to even get out of bed? A future where I can switch from being cheerful to apathetic midday for no reason?” Continue reading “Blessed Endurance”
Lately I keep catching myself looking at my watch. Not because I need to, but just because I want to know how soon I will get to move on to the next activity in the daily agenda. When I’m in class I think about what I will do for lunch, when I’m at lunch I think about what I will study after lunch, and when I’m studying I think about what I will do when I have time for a break. Living like this does not make sense. The laws of nature will never allow me to live in the future; I will always be living in the present. It is foolish to be preoccupied with planning what I am going to do at the cost of appreciating what I am doing. If I cannot live fully in the present, how can I expect to appreciate the future? Continue reading “Living Fully by Hope”
BY BRITTANY TYLER
Left to my own psychological devices, I often find myself leaning either towards feelings of inferiority or feelings of superiority, in comparison with others. It is a rare but blissful moment when I feel balanced and completely at peace with who I am, who God made me to be, without the need to compare myself to someone else. Well, a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to feel both inferior and superior at the same moment. Continue reading “Sinferiority Complex”
INTRODUCTION BY LAURA FERRIS; ARTICLE BY JON SEARLE
The title of this post is the title of an article that was submitted to this journal in spring 2010, and I’m pleased to make it available on the blog using my account.
Gay and Christian
I am gay and Christian. For many, these are seen as contradictory identities. I must admit that this essay is part of my “homosexual agenda” to normalize LGBT Christians to evangelicals. I’ll make my agenda, both for this essay and in life, explicit at the outset: I want to share my story as I’ve experienced and interpreted it; and I want other LGBT people who read this and have trouble reconciling their faith with their sexuality to be encouraged. Continue reading “Gay and Christian”
My Grandma (Nai Nai, as we would call her) was a tough and energetic lady who dearly loved her grandkids. She used to knit sweaters for us (very useful growing up in Canada). In public, she would always enthusiastically run up to people, whether friends at church or complete strangers in the mall, to proudly declare “this is my grandson!” (in Chinese of course, regardless of whether the other party knew any Chinese). She left this world Saturday, Aug 29, 2009 shortly after lunch, at the age of 97. Continue reading “So Thankful for Resurrection. No Hope Without It.”
BY TRAVIS KOPP
Martin Luther said that the Christian life should be one of constant repentance. Does this mean that we should continually be beating ourselves up? I think in a way it does.
Whenever we are asked to do something, if we do not do it as well as we should it is reasonable to critically evaluate our performance. Now what does Jesus say to us? He says that we are to love our enemies, but we usually do not. He says we are to forgive people four hundred and ninety times (that is, all the time), but we often want to give up much sooner. He says we are to sell what we have and give to the poor, but we sometimes buy unnecessary things for ourselves instead. In short, He says, “You shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48, NKJV) But we are not. Continue reading “The Search for Perfection”
BY CINDY CHEN
Starting in October 2008, I began to experience tremendous back pain unbeknownst to me. The acute onset of the pain, complicated by its seemingly de-localized manifestations in different parts of my body, frightened me a great deal, enough for me to seek medical attention. Neither western medicine nor eastern acupuncture was able to diagnose the root of my condition. Strangely, after each attempt to combat the disorder, painful spasms would move around my back in real-time: at work, at home, and during my sleep. Continue reading “My Pain”
BY WHITNEY MORET
There’s something distinct about the atmosphere at Harbor House, and it’s apparent from the moment you enter. Harbor House is an urban ministry in the San Antonio district of Oakland, with services like an emergency food stock, counseling, ESL for immigrants, and its signature after-school program for local children and youth. It serves low-income community members by offering them the services and support they need. Harbor House is a pleasant place – found in a huge old Victorian, sunny and welcoming – but you can’t really call it tranquil. Continue reading “Laboring with God: Praying the Imaginary into Real Shalom”