Josh j Smith


Normal operation has resumed
March 31, 2005, 2:30 pm
Filed under: theology
Normal operation has resumed
Normal operation has resumed,
originally uploaded by
mikep.

Normal operation has resumed because I am back at school again after spring break. As far as going to south for the typical college spring break…I made it to Maryland. We passed on going to curly haired Jason’s in-laws in Georgia. However, I did get to do some really great things over spring break during Engelina’s and I travels between Pittsburgh and Maryland.

Here are some interesting things that happened.

Engelina and I went to buy a simple soda at Chick Fil-A and I got charged $30 on my debit card. I complained days later and still got my money back…Honestly I don’t know if I paid for the soda though…Oops!

I got to use a jack-hammer and break up a cement porch with other men. I felt real manly that day. I had to wear ear plugs, glasses, gloves, steal toed boots…It was great!

I had to dig 3ft holes 20 inches wide the same day. I felt real tired after that.

My family along with Engelina and I went to the Strip district in Pittsburgh and went to this place called Suseri’s. They had really good pepperoni rolls, people who worked with the mob (maybe), and a guy who made the food with a big fat stogie sticking out of his mouth. He was so good at this that it looked like his mouth was permanently formed to fit a half inch stogie in it. It was a Kodak moment.

I did homework…Not enough!

I watched TV…Probably too much

I spent time with my nieces – Jenna the basketball player and Addy the gymnastics queen. Jenna is around 11 or 12 and Addy is around 3 or 4. Addy likes to sit on my shoulders.

Went to get Engelina’s wedding band made, but the jewelers did not have the ring that we were basing it off of…That was very disappointing.

We dipped spoons into chocolate for a wedding shower.

Went to church on Easter

This is interesting …While we were at church – Engelina and I – I saw my old girlfriend from High school…That was weird even though we did not talk.

Then we drove in the pouring down rain and almost wrecked b/c we hydro-planed…That was fun.

Peace out folks

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Good things – a God thing
March 20, 2005, 7:33 pm
Filed under: theology

Well I had let you all know that I went through withdrawal the other day. The good things are that we…Engelina and I are moving are to good and exciting things. I will hopefully get accepted into seminary and persue my masters, work in a church called BranchCreek community church with my good friend Mike the youth pastor Harder. Engelina will find a good paying job, by the grace of God.

So we visited a few times. I still have not come home the right way yet. Getting lost is a hobby for Engelina and I. Anyway, the last time we visited was on a spur of the moment because Mike the youth pastor Harder called me with an apartment to check out. So I called the owner…we wanted to go check it out. We went and checked it out. We liked it. We got it. We start paying on it in April – thanks to Engelina’s parents who are helping us out financially. It really is a God thing because we prayed specifically for God to provide for us in a certain way and He did…above and beyone what we asked and expected. Good things – a God thing.

We are waiting to hear more information from BranchCreek Community Church with the details on what my role is going to look like in the youth ministry there.

I still have to finish my application for seminary. yeesh, I love applications, Syke!

Some people are wondering why I have to leave. Sometimes I asked the same question. But after seeing how God is providing for us with good things like an apartment, I am becoming more and more confident that Philly is where we are supposed to be going. We are not sure why yet…ask us in a few years. It is one of those times when you can only see a few steps in front, then we have to trust that the path and the light will lead us as long as we keep trusting them – the light; the path.



Withdrawal
March 18, 2005, 2:54 am
Filed under: theology

Today, along with my good friend Buhrtrane, went and cleaned out my stuff from Church. I was an intern for about 3-4 years now. It was a little sad. We sat that there telling stories, laughing, and shootin the poop. It was fun. I am really going to miss Rev. Jason, Acting Chad, Singing Holmes, and mother Joyce. You really get to know people when you spend hours upon hours with them day in day out.

People say that it is life. I say it too. But is it? Is it life just moving from place to place meeting people, starting over, breaking off… We say that it is life b/c it happens, and we choose sometimes/most of the time to have it that way. Is it us? Is it the culture? How much should we let the culture determine how we live? People are considered cowards when they choose people and staying close to friends and family – is that what they are? I know it depends on context, but maybe our society has it all wrong. Will it change or will we? Should it change or should we? Should it stay the same?

I know…you are probably saying, “This guy is crazy. You are only moving away, you will make new friends.” I might be crazy. That is okay because this is unrated rantings baby…I just write…with a spell check on the end.

love



Descending
March 4, 2005, 7:45 pm
Filed under: theology
Lately I have been thinking about Easter. Mainly because it is Lent and this year I have decided to participate in the rich tradition. I decided to give up deserts. I failed a few times, but for the most part I have been keeping up with the fast. This journey is really helping me to discover selflessness. To deny myself. Nouwen would call it – living the descending way. Not only is Lent affecting my diet, but I have sought to live this descending way and discover what it really means. So, here is what I came up with so far.

Prayer is descending myself spiritually before God. I have noticed this past week when I was struggling with sin over and over that I avoided God. I felt that I had to fix myself before I went and talked to him. Just like when you broke something and you tried to fix it before you talked to your parents. “I can do it myself.” “I don’t want anyone to see that I screwed up.”

Community is descending myself before others. When Engelina and I were in marriage counseling we talked about Adam and Eve and how they made fig leaves right after they sinned b/c they realized that they were naked. Sometimes I think that it would not be so bad to be naked with a women. But think about it…Someone you don’t know at all – that is a little awkward unless you are intoxicated. I know Adam and Eve knew each other, but never had seen each other before the way that they saw each other after they sinned. Their eyes were open, everything was exposed to them. So they covered what was different between them. Now I look at that and think what a shame…Two attractive people who are attracted to each other are not able to be naked with each other. The nakedness was only the beginning. Next it was their feelings, their thoughts, their actions, and their mistakes. Living the descending way means stripping myself in front of others. Not my clothes, but everything else. That way I cannot hide who I am and what I struggle with. Living the descending way siphens the grease off our heart and frees it to be in commune with others and God. Only Jesus loves me purely and can show me how to love others the same.

Love is descending myself. Whether it is to God, friends, family, strangers, or enemies. 1 Corinthians 13 speaks of how love is allowing for the greater good of others by my personal actions and attitude. Love for Engelina is not the fuzzy feeling inside…that is diarrhea…love for Engelina is not using her to please myself in any way. It is to build up, to forgive, to serve, to pray for…on and on. That is the descending way. Love is it! Once I learn to love God, others, and myself then prayer and community is life and breath of living the descending way.

Peace to you all
jj smith