Friday, March 20, 2009

Update before the break


These last few weeks I’ve pretty much just been in crunch mode trying to get done with my studio project. I think it turned out pretty well. I’ll try to get some photos and a description up in a later post. Right now I’m pretty much just happy that I’m done with classes for the next three weeks. Woot woot!

These next three weeks should be pretty cool. We’re going to be taking a week long study tour through Sweden and Finland checking out all sorts of cool architecture (I’m suspecting a lot of Alto) Then the plan is to go down to Barcelona and hang out for five days. Then Lauren and I are going to go and stay with my host Dad’s Sister in Paris for 5 days and then the last 5 days of break will be back in Spain on a beach near Bilbao. We were originally thinking about going to Florence and Rome but that ended up looking too expensive for our budgets.

It’s starting to look more like spring here. The sun has been out longer and it is noticeably warmer out. It has been amazing to see the dramatic change that has happened the last couple months from the sun going down at 3 to now when it doesn’t go down till after 6. They are telling me that a lot changes during this time when I am gone. That it will almost be like an entirely different city cause we will come back and the sun will be up all the time and it’ll be warm. Should be lovely.

God did something cool last week concerning plans for this summer. As many of you know I’ve been planning to return to Poland and help teach English and do ministry work with some churches there. It does indeed look like that is going to happen I’ll be one week in Cieszyn and one in Dzierzoniow. (by the way anyone else reading this want to come we need more English teachers) Anyway I’ve recently been going to a International Baptist church here and they have a Wednesday night get together for college age students. When I went last week there were several girls there who said they were from Poland visiting one of their friends in town. I Asked where they were from and it turns out they are from Wrocław which is just up the road from Dzierzoniow. We got to talking about why I was there and found out that we know many of the same people. Then she asked if I had any idea of someone who might be able to come and help teach at a Junior High camp in Wrocław for the week right before I was already planning to be in Poland. They had been praying for someone for a long time and had no idea of who might come. Anyway I volunteered to go and am quite excited about it God is Good!! Please pray for the Camps and for all of us that will be helping to lead. We need guidance, wisdom and a total reliance on our great God in order to make this work.


I’ve got some new photos up on my site that some of you may have already discovered.

a few photos from the ski trip I went on with my host family. Mostly us hanging out in the cabin, I didn’t’ really feel like mixing the camera with wet snow/possibility of falling.
http://www.dansnook.com/photos/swedeski/index2.html

Photos from a trip to Roskilde Denmark. The cathedral had some really amazing woodwork and there was a cool Viking ship museum with actual ancient ships.
http://www.dansnook.com/photos/ros/index2.html

Some photos of buildings in Berlin
http://www.dansnook.com/photos/berlin1/index2.html

Some photos of people hanging out various places, Copenhagen, Berlin, ect
http://www.dansnook.com/photos/life3/index2.html

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Holiness

“So, how are you?”

Such a question, it can be said so flippantly and doesn’t really get much of a response most of the time. Here in Denmark nobody really asks that question unless they really want to know the answer. Most of us do not really want to let our emotions and who we really are out before people that we hardly know. I mean I can talk about classes, traveling, music, ect. with so many people. There is almost a mental list of conversations that I have and find myself repeating to all these people that I am meeting. Kind of a false sense of intimacy that I give to people with these few portals into who I am. But that begs the question am I really showing who I “really” am.

Anyway, I was recently asked “how are you?” by a good friend who just put a bit of emphasis on the word “are.” It’s amazing that from just that simple change in voice inflection I could understand that she really wanted to know, and I was glad to answer. At the same time though it is a hard thing to be up front with. I don’t think that we really ever ask ourselves “how are you” enough. Who is the real me and then how is he doing? To be completely correct; I believe that at my core I am a completely selfish person with and incredibly unwholesome mind that has been saved by the Grace of God to be more then myself, and that my purpose is to delight in him completely and to then reflect him to the people that I interact with. How am I doing at this? Hmmm…

I don’t recall exactly what I said first. I think that I stumbled around a bit and didn’t really know what to say, but then fairly quickly it moved to spiritual things because I realized that is the part of me that is the most important. It was good, I don’t really get asked that question by nearly enough by people these days. I am so very blessed to have such a friend that I have so much in common with and that pushes me to think about things more deeply. We spoke on all sorts of things that have since mulled around in my mind, what she said, what I said, what I could have, or should have said… I am so often not as articulate with what I say as I want to be.

I feel sorry for those people who are always in the spotlight and everything that they say gets remembered… I so frequently say things that don’t quite come out right, or that I really don’t mean.

One of those topics that we talked about was that of holiness. What does it mean to be holy, to be set apart? Both of us are living in very different cities, but both are post-Christian and to some extent anti-Christian cultures. (which has made it rather difficult to find good Christian fellowship) What does it mean to be in the world but not of the world? It has been a question that people have struggled with over the ages, from the early church, to the monastery movement, and down to today. It’s so hard to answer. At all times (whether I like it or not) I am representing Christ to those around me. And even though I am confident that I am not going to mess up God’s ultimate plan by doing something wrong, he still has called us to a life that is set apart for him.

I am far too often overly cynical about isolationist tendencies in American Christian culture, but it is also true that we shouldn’t be fully engulfed by the life of the world. It’s not right for us to try to build up a bubble around ourselves, but it probably also isn’t quite right to be bumping up against some attractive girl you don’t even know in a driving, flashing, pulsing club…

I believe that all who are Christians are called to represent Christ, that there should be something about us that people will mark as different. We should have the aroma of Christ about us, whether that be a stink to some, or a sweet perfume. It makes me wonder… Do I “smell” of Christ or do I blend in to the rest of the world around me? I think that faaaar to often I fall into the second category. At what point am I to declare; No, I am not going to do that because I am a Christian and I am representing my Christ in everything that I do. Should the line be no alcohol, a slight buzz, having a few too many, hanging out in certain places, dancing, what sort of dancing? Where do my thoughts tend to go in the midst of the things I do? Where does my mind and behavior lead… is it to God or sin? I must say that my sinful mind is rather inconstant …

I am thinking about Jesus, he himself ate with the worst of people, they were attracted to him. Why is this? Somehow he met people where they were at yet didn’t fall into the sin that they were engulfed in. is it possible for me to live in a similar fashion? To be a light for Christ in the midst of a dark place?

I have gotten rather good at saying what my limits are because of rational ideas. Unfortunately though, those rules and ideas don’t quite work as well here in another country because well, we want to experience the culture, but where do we draw that fine, and constantly changing line. I really don’t want to seem like the holier then thou type of guy, but I guess at some point that is necessary because, well, we have been set apart, and are given to a higher purpose. We are not merely our own but are bought with a price and our purpose here on earth is to live for the sake of our God and to bring as many people with us to a life giving glory to his name.

“Through whom (Jesus) we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations” - Romans 1:5

Part of me wants to be this man that serves God full out, fearlessly, without giving any care to what others are thinking. The other part of me wishes that I was a man with no morals and could do whatever I wanted with whoever I wanted, to not need to worry about the moral consequences. These two people in me are constantly battling.

I guess that God gives us these issues to deal with so that we can learn more about his power. The more that I think about it, and the more that I live my life, I see that if I were left to my own without having God work mightily within me I would be , well... It is certainly by his grace alone that I am who I am today.

But, I want to be more! I want to want God more fully, to take full delight in him. I heard a story about Martin Luther rather recently. Apparently he had this dog and when he was eating some meat the dog would just stare at the meat salivating and hoping for any scrap of it to fall from the table. Luther then said something along the lines of “oh that I could focus on prayer the way that that dog focus on this meat. It is all that he can think of and it consumes his whole being” I have probably slightly messed up the story, but the illustration still works. I want to desire God in that way. I want to have my heart wanting his things first. Right now I certainly do not! I struggle with wanting to know him, and prayer… well my mind certainly wanders.

It all comes down to this: “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:18-19) but in that we also can be confident in this that, “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

To those that would do so PLEASE

– Pray for me!
- Pray for yourselves!
- Pray for the world!

Oh, that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. - Phil 3:10-14

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The time just flies by

Sooo I’ve obviously been not so good at keeping this here blog updated… sorry bout that. I kinda let myself get behind and it’s piled up. I’ve tried to push thru the pile a bit and decided to give at least a quick overview as to what I’ve been up to.

I really wanted to put up some nice long posts about so much of this… oh well time is not enough.

The rest of that study tour went great! I saw a sweet museum, performers house, the town of Århus, a crematorium, etc. I have a partially finished post on the last part of that trip. I might post it if people are interested. I’ve got photos up from that trip here(www.dansnook.com/photos/westden1/index2.html) and here (www.dansnook.com/photos/westden2/index2.html) and on facebook.

I think that since my last real post I’ve been able to see the Ballet “Romeo and Juliet” the opera “The Marriage of Figaro” (the full opera not just the rehearsal that I saw earlier) and some sweet jazz as a part of the Copenhagen Winter Jazz festival. These were all really cool!! I’ve also had some good times Jamming with my host brother… yup!

I recently switched over to riding a bicycle all over town. I had a bus/train/metro pass for the first month that I was here, but in order to save some money I let it expire. My host family has an extra bike that I’ve been using. It’s a pretty sweet 30 year old red and white womans bike mmmmmhmm. It works great for getting around town. It takes only about 20min for me to ride from home to DIS which is the exact same amount of time that it used to take walking to and using the train.

That is, it takes me 20min…. now. I definitely got lost the first few times I rode. It has really helped me to get to know the city soo much better.

I took a 2 day ski trip to Sweden with my host dad, one of his sons, and my host brother. It was a lot of fun. Reeeeeally tiny ski hill it only had something like 5 runs and all of them were groomed. It was still a lot of fun though just cruzing down the hill all day. I thought of it kinda like sledding, not very challenging but still quite enjoyable :)

Last weekend I went to Berlin. It really pretty close and rather cheep if you take the bus from here aaand Lauren came up to Berlin that weekend from Barcelona, Yay!! Hack and a friend from DIS came down with me, and 4 other BCN people came with Lauren, but they were all doing other things other places in the city so I didn’t see much of them. Some of us were in the same hostel so we hung out some but I never even saw 3 of the other Barcelona people. I felt like I just relaxed and took the trip easy this time. I’ve been in Berlin before and I plan on going back. So I ended up seeing a few things well and just enjoyed seeing what others wanted to see and hanging out. It was a good trip! I might try to write up a more detailed post on the trip later… we’ll see

I’ve been working on my second studio project of the three we will be doing this semester. It’s a furniture showroom that is to be on the main walking street here in CPH. It’s kinda fun, we’re doing a lot of façade studies and I’ve been thinking a lot about how it fits into the flow of the street.

We took a cool field trip with my European Urban Theory class the other day. Looked at some really cool harbor front developments and housing projects in Copenhagen and over in Malmo, Sweden. I still think that’s probably one of my favorite classes.

I’m still working on catching up with my photos I’ve got about 1600 photos from about 6 different things that I’m still working through. Don’t worry I’m not going to try to post them all. :) I’ve sorted through about half of them and hope to have the best ones up soon.

That’s all for now
.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Life...

What is it all that I want to do?

In no particular order just a quick study of what is all is it that I have pulling for my time aside from all those responsibilities…

take pictures
design buildings
edit pictures
play music
write music
watch music
talk with people
meet people
actually build friendships
write
read books
read the bible
teach the bible
pray
listen to teachers of the bible
listen to teachers of theology
learn about church history
learn about urban spaces
philosophy
paint
understand the world around me
eat
cook
sleep
travel
ski
bicycle
hike
climb
kayak
canoe
draw
make furniture
make jewelry
dance
just think and process life


Share all that is above with those who are most important to me...