who is the church again? i'm confused

October 25 [Thu], 2007, 7:41
i think perhaps my desire to be in a place where the church is clear does not necessarily have the solution of being in another country. it's easy to just slap that solution onto my question. what is bothering me is how people in the US assume they are part of the church...but not even that, it's more. it bothers me more that the church is not *doing* anything...i don't know how to explain it. people go to church and bible studies and are comfortable with their lives. it shouldn't be like that. and i notice it because i am like that as well. and it's exactly what i don't want to be like. and the automatic solution for me is to go somewhere else where if you're a christian or a part of the church, it's very clear. like japan. in the US you can go to church but people can still wonder if you really mean it or not. of course this is true anywhere, but it seems like it's especially true in the US. like i said in a previous post, i don't want to think the solution is to just move to another place where i look more christian because that's just moving myself and not fixing myself. the second most obvious solution is for me to start teaching because that puts me in a position to actually be able to interact with people. but the problem for me personally really is twofold--a desire to interact with people who don't know Jesus, and a desire to live somewhere where it's often much more clear who knows Jesus and who doesn't. i have yet to figure out how one should "evangelize" in the US. these vague ideas of living in a way that others will notice you, etc. don't seem like enough for me. i want to put myself in a position where i am uncomfortable, where i can interact with people who don't know Jesus. but i don't know how to do that right now. i don't know if i basically just need to wait...or if there is something i can do now and i just haven't figured out what it is yet.
i feel like this post is a repeat of previous posts.

not yet finished

October 25 [Thu], 2007, 7:40
i have a cavity. which was a quite a shock. i've never had a cavity before. and i didn't like the dentist i went to. bad dentist. so i'm looking for dentist recommendations in the santa barbara area, if anyone has any. i was actually very upset about all this this yesterday. but it's going to be ok. i just have to figure out switching dentists with insurance and stuff. and i'm thankful that it's a small cavity so i have a little time to figure things out. now i keep thinking about my tooth continually decaying while i figure out what to do though.

but i had all this cavity/dentist business put into perspective by an email that i received from the parents of the very people i mentioned in the last post. they are missionaries in japan as we speak. in my greek class today we were discussing a verse that had to do with baptism--acts 2:38, to be exact. in the niv, it reads "...repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins." the question we were discussing in class was how forgiveness is relating to baptism, and how "for" should be taken, or if there is a better word to use in its place.

relating my past to my future

October 16 [Tue], 2007, 6:55
this is a concept i've had issues with for ages.

the past continually comes back to my mind in the present and affects how i think about the future. the question is to what extent should i let my past affect my future. clearly this is a complex question because the answer depends on what part of my past i'm talking about, and also what part of my future i'm talking about.

this christmas

October 16 [Tue], 2007, 3:47
reasons i want to go to japan:
to be with all the kaufmans at once
to be in japan again
to relive the good old days when we were all together..
to be in the community that their family creates when they're all together
to be around those who have the mindset that i described in the previous post
also to be around those who have a passion for unreached people
to have resolution in my mind about the past
bascially to encourage myself

reasons why i'm staying in california
going to japan would probably create more unresloved issues anyway
it's important that i be with my mom at christmas
it's important that i focus on the present and stop longing for the past to appear in the future
it's important that i learn to care for the people that are in my life now
i should be a good steward of my finances and think about the future (i will run out of money for grad school probably 3 months sooner if i spend a bunch of my money to travel right now)

if i went it would be all for me. i would be taking, taking.. and giving nothing. i would be expending my resources on myself only.

the mindset of a missionary

October 16 [Tue], 2007, 3:17
i suppose i've known it all along, but today i was realizing why i don't like living in the US. i feel like i'm starting to assimilate and i don't like it. i don't want to be one of them. i guess the issue is that i don't want to be "one of them" anywhere that i happen to be. because the point isn't to be part of them--it's to have a different mindset. sure, you immerse yourself in whatever is going on wherever you happen to be whenever you happen to be there. but there is such a difference between immersing yourself in a culture different from your own and letting it become your own culture. when missionaries go to japan, they immerse themselves--they live in japan. they have to live like japanese people to a certain extent. but clearly they are not japanese. the first difference japanese people will see is appearance. but the first difference i would feel is that although our lifestyles are similar, our worldviews are very different. in the US, by being individualistic and asserting your opinion, you are being like everyone else. by saying your worldview is right and other people's are wrong, people don't care to listen to you anymore. you're a fanatic. in the US, everyone is bringing a different view. i can't figure out how to present my lifestyle and worldview in a way that clearly shows i'm different and worth listening to. in japan, i'm already clearly different and that opens up discussion, or at least interest, even if it's only in the fact that i'm american or because i look different. here i blend in and i can't get used to it. christians aren't supposed to blend in, are they? how do i live in the US and immerse myself, but not blend in? it's aggravating. but a challenge as well. because i could live in japan and feel better about myself because i would feel that i'm different from them--i wouldn't have to work hard to be different. but here it's not like that. here it takes a concious effort to live in a way that can make a difference. so maybe my desire to flee the country is me wanting to escape to a place where i feel better about myself.

"He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us."

this is what i should be concerned with--living the way God says where i am right now. not wishing i was somewhere else so i could feel like i'm living the way God says.


October 10 [Wed], 2007, 2:47
if i couldn't hear, there would be no music, no sound of traffic, no footsteps, no laughter, no funny voices, no singing, no crashing ocean waves, no birds calling..
but if i couldn't hear, i would see, taste, smell, feel more clearly.
it's easy to forget to appreciate what you have always had.

only snippets of much larger thoughts

October 01 [Mon], 2007, 3:12
today i'm thinking about how almost everyone i spend time with probably already knows who Jesus is. the only exception i can think of right now is the girl that i tutor. i feel like it's time for that to change. but i don't know exactly how. but what was the point of christian education my whole life if i'm just going to have christian friends only and a christian job. maybe this makes me more motivated to get a teaching credential. i think it does.

i had a passing thought that it would be fun to be miss wiens. but thinking about it further, i don't think i could handle all subjects K-8 in one classroom. no. but modifying the idea a little, it would be really cool to be the only 6-12 math teacher at a very small school where such a math teacher is needed. i could teach other things as well. i wonder if such a school exists..
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