Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The shorter-than-intended blog.

I meant to write a longer blog than the one I shall write now. However, what started out as a good intention was quickly thwarted by fatigue, so this blog will be rather short.

My original plan was to write about either office politics or my new idea to write a memoir about life in Iowa as a young, newly-married, West-coast woman. Either would have been more interesting than this post, so I assure you I will indeed write about these two topics in the future.

But for now I the main thought on my mind is Oxford. I miss it something terrible. I want to go back. But if I went back to study for and receive my Master's degree, what would I study? I have too many interests at this point for me to choose just one: linguistics, creative writing, fantasy/science fiction, women's rights, film/cinema/media, culture, and even Egyptology. What a ridiculously cultured mind I have (I know, I am definitely bragging at this point).

I don't mind life here in Iowa right now. But I know I will get sick of it, and Nick knows this as well. We are aiming for moving to Colorado or Oxford, and after seeing how many of my friends that I met in Oxford on my semester abroad trip are already back in school earning their Master's degrees, I really want to aim for my advanced degree, as well. I feel like I am "behind" them, that I'm not where I should be, because I could in fact be earning my very own Master's degree.

Ah, well. God has a plan and it will be revealed eventually.

I always wish that my blogs will turn out more humorous than they usually do; it's disappointing that they don't!
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Sunday, November 1, 2009

The church home dilemma.

What do you look for in a church? Do you aim only for doctrine, or do you also pay attention to the sincerity and passion in the music and singing, the genuine fellowship before and after the service, the care and compassion that Christians are supposed to show even outside of Sundays?

These questions keep coming to my mind as I get more and more frustrated with Nick and my church here in Sioux Center. The URC always seems to have doctrine very indicative of the Bible's true teachings, but it lacks in so many other areas. Here, for instance, the people do not seem to sing with their hearts. Every song sounds forced, even pained at times. And I know this is not true with every URC, but it is for this town. In addition, this town's URC seems friendly enough when I look around after a service, but hardly any of the families talk to us (by "families" I mean anyone married and with children or people we didn't know previously from Dordt). This limits our fellowship to only a few college kids in the church, which to me seems sad as Christians should be able to commune, fellowship, and worship together no matter what our ages or stages in life.

What ticked me off the most about our "church" recently was the fact that I mentioned Nick's surgery twice to one of our elders, and he did not once ask about it or how Nick was doing. Not once.

I do our church's newsletter layout. I asked the elder on Friday afternoon if I could postpone doing the newsletter to the next week (I admit that was a last minute request as the newsletter is usually completed and sent to this elder by Saturday morning). I had no idea Nick's surgery (including the unexpected ER visit) would take such a toll on my mental and physical state of mind. The elder said he'd prefer I don't postpone the newsletter release because there were schedules in there that people needed, but if I had to postpone, I could. I felt guilty, as I always do when I make a promise to someone and want to/have to cancel. So I did it.

I was up until 1:30 a.m. Friday night to get the newsletter done, and one of the pages turned out cut off, so part of the text couldn't be read. The elder called me about it. I fixed it. And he still didn't ask about Nick's surgery or how he was doing. This does not give me any confidence in our church's supposed leadership over its flock.

This is almost the last straw I have had with this church. Is my temper too short? Am I being too unforgiving? Am I being sinful and selfish in this way of thinking? I don't know. I only know that the preaching and doctrine is good, and everything else is seems like shit. What kind of church doesn't give at least some kind of visible effort to its singing, and what kind of congregation rarely talks to any of its younger members, and what kind of church council doesn't ask about one of its member's surgery and recovery?
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