Wednesday, February 22, 2012

3 days=1,955 Calories

I am attempting to write a paper for systematic theology on the church’s Israelology by examining Article One of the Nicene Creed as well as Deuteronomy 7:6-9 and Romans 11. I am having a difficult time concentrating on the task at hand. This generally would not come as a surprised considering ordinarily I have the attention span of a goldfish but it is extraordinarily difficult today. This leads me to wonder if it has anything to do with a diet I have recently started. It's a diet I started with a few friends and today is the third day. For three days it is very structured and then for four days you eat whatever you want, in moderation. It sounds great until you take a look at what you actually eat for those 3 days...

Day One:
Breakfast: 1/2 a grapefruit, 1 slice of toast, 1 teaspoon of peanut of 165 calories (I forgot the Peanut Butter...-30)
Lunch: 1/2 cup of plan tuna, 1 slice of of 200 calories
Dinner: 3 oz of meat, 1 cup string beans, 1 cup carrots, 1 apple, 1 cup vanilla ice 440 calories (I'm allergic to dairy, subtract 200 calories)
Total calories for the day 805 (-230 =575)

Day Two:
Breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, 1 slice of toast, 1/2 banana of 215 (The cafeteria didn't have any bananas, subtract 55)
Lunch: 1 cup of cottage cheese or 1/2 cup of tuna and 5 saltine of 260 calories
Dinner: 1 plain hot dog (no bun!), 1 cup brocoli, 1 cup carrots, 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup vanilla ice of 480 calories (still no banana, subtract 55 & subtract 100 for the ice cream)
Total calories for the day 895 (-100-55-55=685)

Day Three:
Breakfast: 5 saltines, 1 slice cheddar cheese, 1 small of 255 (-115 for cheese)
Lunch: 1 hard boiled egg, 1 slice of of 160 calories
Dinner: 1 cup plain tuna, 1 cup carrots, 1 cup cauliflower or green leaf vegetables, 1 cup cantaloupe, 1/2 cup vanilla ice of 495 Calories (-100 for the ice cream)
Total calories for the day 910 (-115-100=695)

So if you have all of the food available and do not have any allergies, you will have consumed 2,610 calories over the course of 3 days. Because of my allergy and there being no bananas, I will have consumed 1,955. That is 45 calories less than the recommended caloric intake for one day! 

I believe this may be the first and last time I try this diet! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Discerning Our Calls

This week I have been thinking about my call and how it is intimately intertwined with service and social justice. I was asked to speak to a group of prospective students about discerning your call with emphasis placed on social justice and service. I find this slightly difficult because I am still discerning my call so how can I tell someone else how to discern his or hers? I have eight months of seminary under my belt and taking it day by day. I am a member of a group of students dedicated to social justice and sustainable community engagement. I want to volunteer and I want to get others interested in volunteering…but what does that have to do with my call?

For me, the first step in this was determining what I truly care about. There are so many important things that interest me like tutoring and literacy, but what is closest to my heart? What motivates me? I realized that for me there are two things: homelessness and LGBTQ teens and young adults. Unfortunately, these issues tend to go hand and hand.

So what does this mean for my call? Well, first it means that I am doing this now to connect myself with this. Last semester I spent a number of Saturday nights in Philadelphia volunteering at a drop in center for LGBTQ young adults helping out with personal care kits and anything else they needed and volunteering at different World AIDS day events. I am going through training to become a volunteer for the Trevor project 800 hotline and setting up a partnership between our group on campus BGLASS and the Triad-House (a home in Trenton for homeless, abused, and neglect LGBT teens). These things are not to brag about what I have done but rather because I believe that, your call is firmly rooted in your past. And the service and social justice that we are passionate about. I feel called to congregational ministry, but a congregational ministry that has an interest in these things.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I love Jesus, I Like Tattoos

I like tattoos and I love Jesus. I want a full sleeve. I also want a job in a church some day. Apparently, these two things tend not to go hand and hand. I have been involved in numerous conversations since coming to seminary about tattoos and none of them has left me feeling too great. We all wish that we lived in a world where people are not judged by their appearances but alas, this is unfortunately not the case. I have one friend that has a full sleeve. It is from just above the shirt cuff all the way to his shoulder. If he needs to, he can hide it. Personally, I do not think he should ever have to hide it. It is beautiful artwork and now a part of him.

The year after my father died, I got a tattoo in memory of him. I knew instantly what I wanted to get but the difficult aspect was figuring out where I would get it. I want to be a pastor some day so it had to be in a location that is easily covered but at the same time, I wanted it to be in a location where it could be displayed if I wanted it to. One major factor was that I want it to be visible on my wedding day so my father is visibly with me. In the end, I got a starfish tattooed onto my left shoulder blade, easily concealed, and easily revealed. Three years after my Dad died, my Nana Rosie passed away of the same type of cancer. I want to get a tattoo to remember her by and once again, the problem I run into is since I am going to be a pastor and will need to cover this up, where do I get it?

I want at least three more tattoos:
    A PCUSA cross that represents my love of the church and the role Fourth Pres (South Boston) serves as a place of refuge when home was not

Tattoos are beautiful pieces of art. They can carry so much meaning to a person. If done for the right reasons, they can carry a story that is otherwise untold. Tattooing has been practiced for centuries and yet it is still taboo. There is a Christian tattoos movement. People get back pieces that are the full crucifixion scene. People get scripture tattooed on them. But is it okay for the pastor to have tattoos? I want to be a tattooed pastor. I understand the Leviticus 19: 28 reasoning behind not getting tattoos but I also eat lobster.

I suppose my whole point is that I wish the appearance was not such a huge issue in society. I think someone with facial piercings and tattoos can be a better pastor that someone that is entirely clean-cut because it is not our appearance that determines our suitability for ministry but rather our heart, our faith, our experience. I love Jesus and I like tattoos and I do not think that these need to be mutually exclusive. I am a future pastor with one tattoo and plans for more. I’m pretty sure Jesus loves me and my tattoos.