Monday, October 10, 2011

Playing in the northwest...

It's pretty wonderful living in the Pacific Northwest. The greenery, the city-ness of Portland, the learning environment I live in, and the church community I'm a part of are all blending so well together. The tough parts are tying in all the reading necessary and being wary of budgeting for the next couple years while a student.

Even walking about the neighborhood is similar to being in the woods. There is greenery everywhere! There's a park connected to campus, and the lots around here have a plethora of plants and trees. Even a palm tree, believe it or not. Maybe I'll take a picture on my next walk.

Walking in Seattle was very similar to here- in terms of greenery, hills, and rain :o)

Now I'm starting to really get involved in some of the life of the area, joining in a dialogue community of Zen Buddhists and evangelical Christians. We do dinner once a month and discuss how we're similar and how we're different. The ZenBuddhists are going to read Mere Christianity, and I'm going to read Living Buddha, Living Christ as well as a bunch of articles we'll all be reading. Should be a very interesting engagement that will push as well as pull. Already I stood outside after our first dinner with a new friend who can't wrap his mind around the centrality of Christ's reality for Christians, why it's so important that this man truly was human and truly lived in history. He told me that it doesn't really matter so much if Buddha or the historical figures of Buddhism really existed. I'm looking forward to understanding that more, and seeing him understand why Christ is so important to me.

I can't help but think about the verse that says: "Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." (1 Corinthians 1:22-24) It really is foolishness without faith. You've got to have faith to believe in those crazy things the Bible says! But if it's not true, what's written in there, it's foolishness to believe it. And that's really what I think. If there hadn't been ways that God has wooed me to himself, and I hadn't received love from him (sometimes directly, sometimes through reading the Word, sometimes through others) I wouldn't be a student intent on knowing more about this God and trying to experientially know more.

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